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Pak, Russia defence officials discuss ways to enhance military ties

ISLAMABAD (PTI):  Senior defence officials of Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday discussed ways to expand bilateral military cooperation, including holding joint exercises and intelligence sharing, and exchanged views on regional security.

The 3rd round of the Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) was held at Islamabad, according to an official statement.

Pakistan delegation was led by Lt Gen (Retd) Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, Secretary Defence, while Russian side was led by Col. Gen Alexander V Fomin, Deputy Defence Minister of Russia.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional security besides holding in depth discussions on exploring and identifying areas of mutual cooperation including military training, joint exercises, intelligence cooperation and issues relating to defence industrial cooperation .

The two countries agreed to ensure effective follow up and implementation of the decisions taken during the meeting.

Before the plenary session, both the officials reviewed the present status of their bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction on convergence of views on major international issues.

The two sides also expressed the hope that JMCC would continue to play a vital role in enhancing defence cooperation and agreed to hold the 4th Round of JMCC in Russia in 2022.

The meeting coincided with the opening ceremony of exercise Druzhba VI which was held at Molkino Trg Area, Krasnodar, Russia.

Forces of Pakistan and Russia are participating in the two weeks long exercise in counter terrorism domain, the Pakistan Army said in a statement.

Pakistan's ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities and the chill in the US-Pakistan relations has further pushed the country towards Russia and China.

Pakistan and Russia have been holding military drills for last few years in the counter terrorism domain.

The two sides are also attempting to expand ties in the domain of trade and have finalised a gas pipeline project.

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