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Indian Army Chief Gen Pande begins 4-day visit to Tanzania

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande has begun a four-day visit to Tanzania with a focus on building a stronger military partnership between the two countries.

Gen Pande is scheduled to meet the top civil and military brass of the east African country including President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Defence Minister Stergomena Lawrence Tax, officials said.

"This visit of the Chief of Army Staff further consolidates the high-level bilateral defence engagements and close defence ties shared between India and Tanzania," the Army said.

"The visit promises to not just celebrate the existing collaborations but also pave the way for a stronger future partnership," it said in a statement on Monday.

Gen Pande will also hold wide-ranging talks with Tanzania's Chief of Defence Force General Jacob John Mkunda, the officials said.

In addition, interaction with the Commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade General Saidi Hamisi Saidi is also scheduled.

Besides Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, Gen Pande will also visit the historical city of Zanzibar, and Arusha.

Gen Pande will also be addressing the National Defence College and interact with Major General Wilbert Augustine Ibuge, the Commandant and the faculty of the institution.

Gen Pande's visit to Tanzania coincides with the second India-Tanzania mini DEF-EXPO being held at Dar es Salaam which will showcase the growing prowess of India's indigenous defence industry.

"The bilateral defence relationship between India and Tanzania has been robust and thriving," the Army said.

It said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation in October 2003 laid a strong foundation for the ties.

This cooperation was further underscored by the second meeting of the India-Tanzania Joint Defence Cooperation Committee held in Arusha, Tanzania in June this year, the statement said.

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