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Bangladesh Army chief holds wide-ranging talks with India's top military brass

NEW DELHI (PTI): Bangladesh Army Chief Gen S M Shafiuddin Ahmed has held wide-ranging talks with India's top military brass with focus on boosting the already close military ties between the two countries.

In their meeting on Thursday, Gen Ahmed and Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande reviewed the overall cooperation between the two armies and explored ways to further expand the ties, officials said.

The visiting General also met Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal A P Singh.

Gen Ahmed met Chief of Defence Staff Ge Anil Chauhan on Wednesday.

The Bangladesh Army chief arrived here on Wednesday on a three-day India visit.

The defence ministry said Gen Pande and Gen Ahmed discussed ways to strengthen interoperability, training, collaboration to contain terrorism and overall bilateral cooperation as part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

It said the visiting General was also briefed on the Indian indigenous defence equipment manufacturing eco-system by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) and the Army Design Bureau.

An 'Implementing Arrangement' for UN Peacekeeping Operations and Training Cooperation between India's Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) and Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT) was signed between the two sides.

The Bangladesh Army Chief will be the reviewing officer for the passing out parade at Officers Training Academy in Chennai on April 29.

He will visit the Officers Training Academy Museum and interact with the cadets of the passing out course, the ministry said in a statement.

Gen Ahmed commenced his visit by paying tribute to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial. He was also accorded a guard of honour at the South Block lawns.

"India and Bangladesh share the historical legacy of cooperation and support during the Liberation War of 1971," the ministry said.

"The active engagement on the defence side includes high-level exchanges at the level of Service Chiefs, conduct of the inaugural annual defence dialogues by the defence secretaries, tri-services and service-specific staff talks," it said.

Gen Pande visited Bangladesh in July last year when both sides vowed to expand their military cooperation. It was his first trip abroad after taking the reins of the 1.2-million strong force.

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