Chief of Army Staff Deepak Kapoor to visit UK

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor will undertake a four-day tour or the United Kingdom from September 1.

During his visit, the Chief of Army Staff will hold interactions with senior military and civilian defence officials and discuss defence-related issues to strengthen existing ties with UK.

The COAS will visit the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, Defence Academy at Shrivenham, Land Warfare Centre in Salisbury plains, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and the National Army Museum.

During his visit to the Land Warfare Centre, General Deepak Kapoor will witness the training and preparation of Indian Mechanised Company which will be participating in the first ever joint training cum exercise on mechanized operations overseas with the UK Land Warfare Centre Battle Gp (LWC BG) from Aug 27 to Sep 26. This exercise is a reciprocal engagement to an earlier exercise carried out in High Altitude areas of India at the end of 2007 between Indian paratroopers and Royal Marines.

India shares good bilateral and strategic relations with UK that are multifaceted and have been strengthened over the years with regular exchange of visits at political, diplomatic and military levels. A strong bilateral relationship is of priority for both countries for economic and commercial, historical and foreign policy reasons and large Indian diaspora in UK.

Our relations in the field of defence with the UK have graduated from military cooperation to comprehensive defence cooperation, to include courses, training for UN Peacekeeping Operations, joint training cum exercises in the fields of counter terrorism including employment of Special Forces, Mechanised Forces operations and exchange of observers on each others' Army exs etc.

The visit by the COAS will add the necessary impetus to the existing defence relationship and broad-base it into a mutually beneficial partnership.

UNI AR RR RN1739

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