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Modernisation of armed forces, Antony's top priority

AK Antony assumes the charge as Defence Minister for the second consecutive time. PTI photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): India’s Defence Minister A K Antony who took charge of the ministry for the second time on Monday has said that modernisation and transparency of armed forces will be his top priority.

Antony’s second inning was marked by India receiving Israeli Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the Phalcon, mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 heavylift transport aircraft's airframe, which landed in Jamnagaron Monday.

The Defence minister said there is a need to give a push to the modernisation of armed forces. “The modernisation of armed forces will be our top priority. But at the same time he cautioned that, in our anxiety for speedy procurement we cannot and must not compromise transparency,” Business Standard quoted the Defence Minister as saying.

Earlier, speaking to reporters at South Block, Antony zeroed in on “coastal security and infrastructure development in the country’s North-East and other border areas” as major challenges.”Developments around us are a cause of serious concern. So, eternal vigilance is a must,” he said.

He stressed the need for paying more attention towards the coastal security, referring to the Mumbai terror attacks last year.

When questioned if India sees China as its “biggest threat,” Antony said, “India wants to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours. Not only maintain, but to improve our relations with China and all neighbours.”

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