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India, Saudi Arabia eye closer defensive coop.

NEW DELHI, June 30 (KUNA) -- India and Saudi Arabia explored on Thursday ways to enhance defence cooperation after holding the 5th meeting of India-Saudi Arabia Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation in New Delhi.
Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar held talks with Saudi Arabiaآ’s Deputy Minister of Defence for Strategic Affairs Ahmad Aseeri in New Delhi today, Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
They discussed ways to enhance defence cooperation between the two countries. The visiting Deputy Minister of Saudi Arabia briefed the Indian offical on the 5th meeting of India-Saudi Arabia Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation (JCDC) that was held yesterday, the ministry said.
During the meeting co-chaired by Joint Secretary (Armed Forces) Dinesh Kumar and Ahmad Aseeri, the "two sides reviewed the progress made in military-to-military engagements, including joint exercises, expert exchanges and industry cooperation." In order to deepen defence industry cooperation, both sides decided to identify new avenues and examine areas of mutual interest for joint venture. "Enhancing the scope and complexities of the existing joint naval exercises and expanding bilateral exercises in other domains were also discussed," the statement said.
The next meeting of JCDC, considered the highest body between the Defence Ministries of India and Saudi Arabia to comprehensively review and guide all aspects of bilateral defence cooperation, would be held in Saudi Arabia on mutually convenient dates next year.
The visiting Saudi minister also met high level Indian defense officials and took part in a defence industry interaction in which a number of Indian defence industries participated. (end) atk.mt