INDIA. Mumbai: General Manoj Mukund Naravane, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has proceeded on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom and Italy between July 05 and July 08 July 2021, during which he will meet his counterparts and senior military leaders of these countries to enhance India’s defence cooperation.
Visit to the United Kingdom is scheduled for two days (July 05 and July 06) during which he will interact with the Secretary of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of General Staff, and other dignitaries. He will also be visiting various army formations where he will exchange ideas on issues of mutual interest.
During the second leg of his tour (July 07 and July 08), he will be holding important discussions with the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Staff of the Italian Army. Additionally, the COAS will also inaugurate the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino and will be briefed at the Italian Army’s Counter IED Centre of Excellence at Cecchingola, Rome.
In the Battle of Monte Cassino, during World War II, over 5,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives while fighting to save Italy from fascist forces. Nearly 50,000 Indians were enlisted for Italy’s liberation between September 1943 and April 1945.
Both the UK and Italy are important partners for India in the field of defence, healthcare, aerospace, education, clean technology, renewable energy, and information and communication technology among others.
These visits are part of military diplomacy that marks an ongoing process in India’s outreach to important partner countries and signals India’s increasing importance in the wider global community as a significant player and a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific.
India and the United Kingdom have a Strategic Partnership since 2004 and enjoy a multi-faceted relationship spanning across trade and economy, health, science & technology, defence and security, people-to-people relations, climate change, and close cooperation on multilateral issues.
Similarly the India and Italy maintain strong bonds based on mutual respect for democracy, human rights, and sovereignty. Italian defence firms have expressed keen interest in taking a proactive part in the “Make in India” initiative of the Indian government. Italy has also pushed for a central role for India in the European Union’s Indo-Pacific Initiative.
INS Tabar in Italy
In another development, INS Tabar entered the Port of Naples, Italy on Saturday. The ship was accorded a warm welcome by the Italian Navy. Colonel Rohit Teotia, Defence Attache at the Embassy of India in Italy coordinated all aspects of the visit.
During the stay in port, the Commanding Officer Captain Mahesh Mangipudi called on the senior officers of the Prefect of Naples Authority, the regional Italian Navy Headquarters, and the Coast Guard Headquarters at Naples. On departure, the ship will undertake Passage Exercise with the Italian Navy Ship Marceglia. The exercise is aimed at furthering cooperation, interoperability, and exchange of best practices between the two navies.