Gen Naravane attends closing ceremony of multilateral counterterrorism exercise in B’desh  

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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina was the chief guest of the ceremony

DHAKA, April 12 (PTI): Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane on Monday attended the closing ceremony of the 10-day multilateral UN-mandated counterterrorism exercise held in Bangladesh and praised the members of the Army contingent from India who participated in the drills.

“General MM Naravane #COAS attended the #ClosingCeremony of Multinational Exercise #ShantirOgrosena2021 and addressed the participants of the exercise,” the Indian Army’s additional directorate general of Public Information (ADG PI) tweeted.

During the Shantir Ogrosena 2021 (Frontrunners of Peace) exercise, he also interacted with the members of the Indian Army contingent and lauded them for their high standards of training and professionalism, according to another tweet.

There were 30 personnel in the Indian Army contingent.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the chief guest of the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, she called for appropriate training and equipment for UN peacekeepers to deal with new challenges.

“The time has come to equip peacekeepers with appropriate training and equipment to deal with the new upcoming crises and make crisis-specific decisions on the field in UN peacekeeping operations,” Prime Minister Hasina said.

She also expressed concern over the number of deaths of peacekeepers at an ‘alarming rate’ in different UN peacekeeping missions.

During her address, Hasina also greeted the participating personnel from abroad saying “surely our bilateral relations will be further flourished through you in the days to come.”

The counterterrorism exercise, which commenced on April 4, was participated by the Armed Forces of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka along with observers from the US, UK, Turkey, Kuwait, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

The aim of the exercise was to strengthen the procedures and enhance interoperability amongst neighbourhood countries to ensure robust peacekeeping operations in the region.

The armies of all the participating nations shared their valuable experiences and refined their drills and procedures in peacekeeping operations.

The exercise culminated with a validation phase and closing ceremony organised on the theme of Robust Peacekeeping Operations jointly undertaken by contingents of Indian Army, Royal Bhutanese Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army, preceded by an Army Chiefs Conclave, a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence said in New Delhi on Monday.

The contingents displayed highest standards of professionalism during the exercise and also displayed their skills in volleyball, firing and cultural activities, it said.

Gen Naravane witnessed the validation phase of the exercise.

The Indian Army chief also visited the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT). He interacted with the members of BIPSOT and appreciated their contribution in imparting training to the peacekeepers.

He is on the concluding day of his five-day Bangladesh visit, which started on Thursday last, to further strengthen the close and fraternal ties existing between the Armed Forces of the two nations.

The visit of the Army chief, who is here at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Gen Aziz Ahmed, comes less than two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the neighbouring country and met the top leadership here to strengthen the strategic ties.

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh, the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan and the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Mujibur Rahman.

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