New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday held a bilateral meeting with his Tanzanian counterpart Stergomena Lawrence Tax and asserted that India considers Tanzania as a major Western Indian Ocean Player, adding that there is immense scope to boost defence and military cooperation between both the countries.

Taking to Twitter the Defence Minister wrote, "Reviewed the full range of India-Tanzania defence ties during the fruitful meeting with the Tanzanian Defence Minister, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax in New Delhi. India & Tanzania share the same strategic space. India considers Tanzania as a major Western Indian Ocean Player."

"There is immense scope to boost defence & military to military cooperation between both the countries. I'm confident India-Tanzania partnership will continue to grow over the coming decades, taking the bilateral relations to greater height," he added.

According to an official statement from the Ministry of Defence, "A wide range of issues concerning bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation were discussed during the meeting. The two Ministers reviewed the existing military-to-military activities and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in all domains with a focus on defence industry cooperation."

"Both the Ministers agreed to the formation of a Task Force to prepare a Five Year Future Road map for enhancing defence cooperation between both the countries and to hold the next Joint Defence Cooperation meeting in Tanzania at an early date," the release further said.

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.

Defence Minister also invited Tanzanian Defence Minister to the India-Africa Defence Dialogue and DefExpo which is scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022.

Earlier in the day, the Tanzanian Defence Minister visited the National War Memorial and paid homage to the fallen heroes by laying wreath at the monument.

Prior to her meeting with Rajnath Singh, she was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour.

Tax is also expected to be visiting Hyderabad during her stay in India. Before her departure to the city, she would be visiting Wargaming Development Centre and Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region to interact with the Indian Defence Industries.

In Hyderabad, she would be interacting with Indian defence industries. She would also be visiting Ordinance Factory, Medak, Bharat Dynamics Ltd, and Zen Technologies Ltd.

Meanwhile, 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.