UK signs defence pacts with India focussing on three areas

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A UK security source said Indian and British defence officials were now working closely in three areas – equipment, logistics and training. The source said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering military training was still in its initial stages.

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It comes as thousands of Indian troops have been deployed to flashpoints on the remote Himalayan border with China and the fiercely-disputed Kashmir region where the country is still at loggerheads with Pakistan.

New Delhi has already signed similar agreements with the US, Australia, France, South Korea and Singapore and more recently with Japan.

The military training deal between the UK and India follows on from a logistics agreement and a defence and security equipment MoU which was signed last year when officials from both sides agreed to step up efforts to identify mutual defence and security capability needs and collaborate on solutions.

READ MORE: India-Pakistan war threat exposed: Reason behind terrifying conflict

Indian troops

Indian military chiefs have signed a defence and security pact with the UK (Image: GETTY)

The Ministry of Defence said the deal was designed to underpin the collaboration between the UK and India, strengthen their defence ties and ensure both countries are able to combat emerging threats.

A spokesman said: “By collaborating and exploiting procurement opportunities together, both nations will be able to benefit from technological and manufacturing capabilities and support long-term co-operation between their defence and security industries.”

Senior military officials from India and China met this week in a bid to defuse soaring tensions on their contested border.

Indian troops

India is running military operations on its disputed border with China and in strife-torn Kashmir (Image: GETTY)

Indian troops

Indian troops guard the disputed Chinese border (Image: GETTY)

A joint press release issued by the Indian government in New Delhi said that both sides had agreed to “avoid misunderstandings and misjudgements”, and “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground.”

The statement said: “The two sides also agreed to hold the seventh round of military commander-level meetings as soon as possible.”

Thousands of Indian and Chinese troops are amassed along the disputed stretch of border in the Ladakh region near Tibet.

The bitter stand-off in the remote western region erupted into a bloody hand-to-hand clash in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and China suffered an unspecified number of casualties.

World's largest militaries

World’s largest militaries (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)


Both countries have since said they are attempting to resolve the situation through diplomatic and military channels but talks appeared to have made little headway so far.

Tensions remain high, with Indian and Chinese troops separated by only a few hundred meters in some areas and both sides bringing up reinforcements and supplies.

Earlier thismonth an agreement to refrain from the use of firearms along the disputed border was shattered when troops from both sides opened fire with warning shots.

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Indian troops

India’s defence deals with the UK cover equipment, logistics and training (Image: GETTY)

The nuclear-armed neighbours have not been able to agree on their 2,200-mile border, despite several rounds of talks over the years.

The two countries fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962 and distrust has occasionally led to flare-ups ever since.

A full military operation is also underway on India’s northwestern frontier with Pakistan after New Delhi imposed a crackdown in the volatile Kashmir region more than 12 months ago.


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