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India, Uzbekistan begin 2-week military exercise in Pithoragarh

NEW DELHI (PTI): The armies of India and Uzbekistan have kicked off a two-week military exercise in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh with an aim to enhance operational interoperability.

The fourth edition of joint military exercise 'Dustlik' commenced in Foreign Training Node in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) on Feb. 20.

Forty-five soldiers each from Uzbekistan and the Indian Army are participating in the exercise which is aimed at promoting positive relations between the two sides, the Indian Army said.

The Indian Army contingent comprises troops from an infantry battalion from the Garhwal Rifles Regiment. The first edition of the exercise was held in Uzbekistan in November 2019.

"The 14 days long joint exercise would focus on joint counter-terrorist operations in mountainous and semi-urban scenarios under the UN mandate and will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations and culminate with a validation exercise," the Army said.

"Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats, while learning to exploit new generation equipment and technology for conducting joint operations. Due emphasis is being laid on increasing interoperability between forces," it said in a statement.

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