Army chief to visit Russia from June 23-27

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (UNI) Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor will leave on June 23 on a five-day visit to Russia to enhance defence cooperation and find ways to counter terrorism.

During his official visit, Gen. Kapoor will meet Russian Defence officials and senior military officials.

He will visit Russian Land Forces Tank Division, Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy and North Caucasus Military District, an official release said here today.

India and Russia share unique and time-tested bonds of friendship based on strong multifaceted foundations, which have been nurtured over several decades by the leaders of both nations.

Today both nations face similar challenges brought about by secessionist and separatist forces which are posing a threat to pluralistic societies as prevalent in a large Number of countries.

Attack on the Indian Parliament (13 Dec 2001), the Moscow Theatre hostage crisis (Oct 2002), Beslan School Tragedy (Sep 2004), the recent blasts in Hyderabad and Jaipur are grim reminders of the scourge of terrorism.

To combat this threat, cooperation between all peace loving countries has become the need of the hour, resulting in concerted and synergised efforts by all.

Armies of both countries have also been engaged in joint defence exercise INDRA based on the theme of counter Terrorism. So far two such exercises have taken place, in 2005 and 2007.

The political leadership in India and Russia is alive to the necessity of enhancing the level of defence cooperation for mutual benefits including for countering terrorism, the release said.

UNI YJ RL RAI1848

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