New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with the Tanzanian Defence Minister Stergomena Lawrence Tax on Friday and said that both sides accorded on strengthening the bilateral defence cooperation.

During the bilateral meeting, Rajnath Singh said, “India and Tanzania have cordial and good relations with Defence cooperation as a strong and important pillar. There is a broad consensus on both sides on further strengthening the bilateral defence cooperation.”

Union Minister also mentioned the first joint defence cooperation meeting that took place last year.

At the beginning of the meeting, Rajnath Singh said, “I want to thank you for accepting my invitation to visit India. I welcome you to our country. I hope that you are doing well and wish that all your family are healthy and safe.”

“Your visit in 2022, which is a special year for India as it marks the 75th year of India’s independence, is indicative of the strong historical relations that both our country shares,” he added.

Union minister also said that India considers Tanzania as a major Western Indian ocean player and as a sign of Indo-pacific growth, “Tanzania can and should play an important role.”

After the meeting, both leaders exchanged gifts as a mark of a sweet gesture.

Tax is also expected to be visiting Hyderabad during her stay in India, where she would be interacting with Indian defence industries. She would also be visiting Ordinance Factory, Medak, Bharat Dynamics Ltd, and Zen Technologies Ltd in Hyderabad.

Tanzania and India have enjoyed traditionally close, friendly and cooperative relations. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the political relationship involved shared commitments to anti-colonialism, non-alignment as well as South-South Cooperation and close cooperation in international fora.

The two countries have benefitted from a long tradition of high-level understanding and exchanges. India and Tanzania share vibrant economic, commercial and business ties.

The second round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Tanzania was held in June this year in New Delhi.

The consultations reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, economic, trade and investment, defence, cultural, people-to-people, and other areas of mutual interest.