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Indian defense minister: Military ties vital foreign policy tool

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 19, IRNA
India-Defence Cooperation-Antony
India's approach to international defense cooperation has been reasonably effective and is in sync with the national foreign policy, said Antony.

"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," said Defense Minister A K Antony addressing the National Seminar on 'Defense Cooperation as a tool for enhancing National Interest',in New Delhi.

"An analysis of the levels of existing cooperation indicates that there is scope for us to further enhance international defense and military cooperation with many countries, particularly those located within India's strategic periphery," he said.

Such cooperation with each country could not be at the same level as it would depend on the national interests and foreign policy goals and priorities, said Antony.

Maintaining that India's wide-ranging defence and military cooperation with several countries has been 'used as an effective tool of foreign policy', he said New Delhi's approach to international defense cooperation has been reasonably effective and was in sync with foreign policy.

Defense cooperation has been one of the main forms of engagement with countries like Russia, Singapore, UK, USA, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Africa, Oman, Tajikistan and most SAARC nations.

Observing that globalization has affected defense as much as any other activity, the defense minister said cooperation could be 'most successful when forces have inter-operable systems and weapons which facilitate functional cooperation when undertaking peacekeeping or disaster management operations together'.

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