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Army chief Gen. Naravane witnesses culmination of military exercise between India and Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday witnessed the culmination of the military exercise between India and Sri Lanka focusing on enhancing counter-terror cooperation and lauded the troops of both contingents for their high standards of training and professionalism.

India and Sri Lanka last week began a 12-day mega military exercise with a focus on enhancing counter-terror cooperation at the Combat Training School in the island nation's eastern district of Ampara.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Naravane arrived here on Tuesday on a four-day visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Gen Shavendra Silva.

"General MM Naravane #COAS witnessed the culmination exercise of Bilateral Exercise #MitraShakti21 at Special Forces Training School, #SriLanka," the Indian Army said in a tweet.

"The #COAS complimented the troops of both contingents for their high standards of training & professionalism," it said.

The eighth edition of the ''Mitra Shakti'' exercise from October 4 to 15 got underway with the participation of an all arms contingent of 120 Indian Army personnel, headed by Colonel Prakash Kumar.

The joint military exercise has been designed to enhance understanding of transnational terrorism, inter-operability skills, conduct of joint tactical operations, sharing of each other's best practices and experiences, the Sri Lanka Army said.

The annual training programme, which has largely contributed to strengthen bilateral military cooperation, understanding and bonds of neighbourly relations between both services, takes place alternately either in India or Sri Lanka every year, it added.

On Thursday, Naravane inaugurated two simulator facilities gifted by India towards enhancing capacity building of the Sri Lankan Army and to further bolster the defence cooperation between the two countries.

During his visit, Gen Naravane met Sri Lanka's top civilian and military leadership and discussed steps for further enhancing the excellent defence cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

He called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed with them issues of mutual and strategic cooperation.

Gen Naravane also called on Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage and Gen GDH Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Secretary, Ministry of Defence, and discussed steps to take forward the excellent defence cooperation between the two countries.

 

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PTI