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Ambassador Nilakshi Saha Sinha: Armenia-India defense cooperation is going very well

Political

The defense cooperation between Armenia and India is proceeding very well. It is not only a defense technical cooperation; the two sides are also looking at capacity building. Indian Ambassador to Armenia Nilakshi Saha Sinha expressed such an opinion  in an interview with Armenpress.

"(…) whether it is military technical cooperation or on training and capacity building, both those fronts are proceeding very well. You are absolutely right. In 2022, Defense Minister Mr. Papikyan visited India, and since then we have seen that a lot has happened in the field of defense. We are still working on this to enhance it further," she said.

Referring to the reports by the Indian news agencies that India aims to create an air corridor to Armenia for exports of strategic importance, the Indian diplomat noted: " As far as the air corridor is concerned, I think those reports were not correct. Indeed, we are looking at how to get the equipment here to Armenia. But as far as this air corridor is concerned, that was just, I think, some kind of misinformation. So, I would like to put the record straight. I think the prospects for our military cooperation are indeed very good and we are working to further strengthen it."

In response to the remark that in February, the Minister of National Defense of Greece, Nikos Dendias, during a joint press conference with Papikyan in Yerevan, had spoke about the possibility of Armenia-Greece-France and India quadrilateral cooperation in defense area, the Indian ambassador said: "Well, you know, all the four countries that you have mentioned have very good relations, very warm ties, close ties, whether it is India-Armenia, India-France or India-Greece. We are now celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between India and France. With Greece also, we have established a strategic partnership. I do find that all the four countries are like-minded, very close partners. At the moment, I think it is still a little premature to talk about the quadrilateral format. But yes, there are convergences. And I'm sure that in case this kind of cooperation happens, then all the countries will benefit. They will be able to cooperate what they are doing on the bilateral sphere which will then be extended to the four countries. At this juncture, I can only see a positive agenda if this happens."

And regarding the fact that recently, several Indian news agencies reported that India is going to post defense attachés to African and Asian countries, including Armenia, Ambassador Nilakshi Saha Sinha said: “This government, the government of Prime Minister Modi, we have a very clear-cut policy and initiative of “Make in India”. So, we have “Make in India” in the defense sphere as well. We find that our defense industry, whether they are in the public sector or the private sector, they are indeed producing world-class defense equipment. And we are now seeing that many countries in the world are buying our defense equipment․ In fact, to make that process smooth and to be able to coordinate better, that is why Defense Attachés are being posted to the places that you mentioned. And yes, indeed, for Armenia as well, we will have a Defense Attaché.

Well, you know, both the Ministries of Defense are in touch and they keep discussing and they are looking at various options."

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