India, Kazakhstan to boost defence and military technical cooperation

India and Kazakhstan have agreed to expand bilateral defence and military technical cooperation eaven as the defence ministers of the two countries took stock of the progress of bilateral relationship since the renewal of the MoU on defence cooperation in January 2017.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman who is on a three-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan from 2 October at the invitation of the Kasakhistan government her Kazakh counterpart Nurlan Yermekbayev and minister of defence and aerospace industry Beibut Atamkulov and discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence and military technical cooperation. 
India and Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programmes. Over 200 Kazakh defence forces personnel have undergone military training in India till date. Both countries successfully conducted a company level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan, last month. 
India and Kazakhstan are bound by historical and cultural ties and this has laid a strong foundation for the multifaceted cooperation. Both countries are strategic partners since 2009.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Kazakhstan’s minister of defence Nurlan Yermekbayev presided over the flag off ceremony of the Kazakhstan contingent that will join the Indian contingent at United Nations International Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon. The contingents of both countries worked together over the past one year to prepare for this joint deployment. The Kazakh contingent will join the Indian contingent at Lebanon by the end of this month.
Sitharaman also discussed issues relating to defence production with the minister for defence and aerospace industry, and discussed the possibilities of joint production and/or co-production based on the relative strengths and experience of both sides. 
She also discussed regional developments with the Kazakhstan foreign minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov.
Sitharaman invited Kasakah minister of defence Nurlan Yermekbayev and minister of defence and aerospace industry Beibut Atamkulov to attend Aero India 2019 to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019.