New Delhi, Feb 18 : Union Defence Minister AK Antony today said that the most visible manifestation of a strategic relationship between two countries is cooperation in the sphere of defence.
Addressing the national seminar on "Defence Cooperation as a tool for enhancing National Interest", he said strong political and economic ties between two countries could be further enhanced through closer defence cooperation.
"Most countries build defence relationships that promote specific national security interests, develop friendly military capabilities for building mutual confidence and trust as also to imbibe 'best practices' for various aspects of defence functioning," Antony said.
He added that defence cooperation also leads to optimising action in the field of UN peacekeeping as well as disaster management.
"Globalisation has affected defence as much as any other activity and there is a need to continually find avenues for exchanging points of view with armed forces of other countries, as well as learning from successful innovations being implemented elsewhere," he said.
Antony said that defence cooperation might be defined as any arrangement between two or more nations where their armed forces work together to achieve mutual aims and objectives.
"The objectives of defence cooperation between countries are to promote intra and extra regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in the field of defence and security, to promote mutual understanding on defence and security challenges as well as to enhance transparency and openness," he said.
Antony said that India's approach to international defence cooperation has been reasonably effective and is in sync with the national foreign policy.
"India can claim many successes in this; however, much more can be done to create conditions of peace, stability and security in the region for economic and social development of the country and its people," he concluded.