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India, S Arabia consider technology transfer, joint drills in defence field

Saudi Arabia, a key strategically of Pakistan, is discussing with India avenues for collaboration in areas of mutual interest in the field of defence, including increasing the scope of joint training exercises, technology transfer and exchange of expertise.

Bearing testimony to the growing defence ties between the two countries, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt is currently on a visit to Riyadh as head of the Indian delegation for the ongoing World Defence Show (WDS) 2024.

The five-day show, which commenced on 4 February, is showcasing the latest advancements in defence technology serving as a vital platform for international collaboration amongst the participating companies.

On Tuesday, Mr Bhatt held a meeting with Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the sidelines of the show. They discussed various aspects of bilateral defence cooperation.

The Indian minister also held talks with Assistant Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia Dr Khaled Al-Bayari, with whom he discussed ways to further strengthen the long-standing and multi-faceted defence cooperation between the two countries. In addition, he also held a meeting with Governor of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Ohali. They discussed the way ahead towards collaborating in varied areas of defence production, Research & Development, besides niche technologies. He also visited the pavilion of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) on the sidelines of WDS 2024.

”Both sides in all discussions shared a deep understanding of the evolving security landscape and resolved to increase bilateral defence cooperation in multifarious sectors while also recognising the mutual benefits of a strong partnership in safeguarding regional security,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. Mr Bhatt expressed confidence that the India-Saudi Arabia partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength, contributing significantly to regional stability and global security.

He also interacted with the representatives of Indian defence companies participating in the Defence Show and congratulated them for their impressive cutting-edge technologies & innovative solutions. The participation by Indian defence companies will not only contribute towards an increase in footprint but further develop the defence industry in both countries by forming lasting partnerships.

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