India to train Gabonese Defence forces in disaster management

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) India will train the Defence forces of the Central African Republc of Gabon in disaster management and healthcare, an official spokesman said here today.

This was decided at a meeting between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Gabonese counterpart Ali Bongo Ondimba here last night.

Mr Sanjeeva Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Defence Ministry, gave a presentation on the potential of cooperation between the two countries.

Relations between the two coutries have been expanding since the visit of a high-level Ministerial delegation, led by Gabonese President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, to India in May last year.

India offered a 14.5 million US Dollar Line of Credit to Gabon for a housing project during the visit of Gabonese Deputy Minister of Housing Development in July this year.

However, there have been no high-level visits to Gabon from the Indian side.

Gabon has a Defence force of about 10,000 personnel, including army, navy, air force and national police.

Besides, France, which ruled Gabon for 75 years till 1960, maintains a battalion of 750 marines in the African nation located on the Atlantic Coast.

Gabon, whose oil sector accounts for nearly half its GDP, quit the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1995.

UNI

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