Tanzania, India seek stronger defence relations

DAR ES SALAAM: CHIEF of Defence Forces (CDF), General Jacob Mkunda and Indian Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, have discussed a road map for defense cooperation and affirmed their commitment to strengthening defence relations.

They held the discussions during the official visit of General Mkunda to India at the invitation of General Chauhan.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the Indian Embassy in Tanzania, CDF Mkunda’s visit is a step in the right direction to deepen strategic partnership between the two countries.

Gen Mkunda also met Indian Defence Secretary, Mr Giridhar Aramane and visited the National Defence College (NDC), located in New Delhi as an alumnus of the 56th NDC course where the institute honoured Gen Mkunda by unveiling his portrait on the Wall of Honor at the NDC library.

During the visit of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to India from 8-11 October this year, the two countries agreed on a five-year roadmap in the field of defence.

Through this, new dimensions will be added in areas like military training, maritime cooperation, capacity building and defence industry.

This was reached after President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and a joint press briefing in the Indian capital.

The two leaders reviewed various facets of bilateral ties and discussed ways to further deepen the close and historic ties between the two countries.

“We have agreed to open new avenues of cooperation as well as scaling up our cooperation to a Strategic Partnership framework,” President Samia said.

The Head of State said Tanzania and India have been working on several other areas, including the supply of clean and safe water as well as defence and security and other issues that have been adequately worked out.

Equally, President Samia noted that trade and investment volumes between the two nations were on an upward trajectory.

“Up to 2022, our two-way trade figures were 3.1 billion US dollars, this makes India the third-largest trading partner in Tanzania and the fifth-largest investor in the country,” she said.

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