NEW DELHI: In an important development from India’s strategic perspective, India and Tanzania have agreed to set up a task force in defence. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held bilateral talks with Tanzanian Minister of Defence and National Service Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax in New Delhi on Friday.
The Ministry of Defence said, “Both the ministers agreed to the formation of a task force to prepare a five-year future roadmap for enhancing defence cooperation between both the countries”.Both the ministers discussed 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,” added the MoD.
India and Tanzania will also hold the next Joint Defence Cooperation meeting in Tanzania at an early date. Talking about the development, Commodore Anil Jai Singh (Retd) said that it has come late as China has already been spreading its influences in the African Continent and East Africa in particular.
“This region of the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa is strategically important for India from the economy, trade and business point of view as almost 60 percent of our trade comes from this side,” he said. Also, the countries like Kenya and Tanzania have understood the negative effect of the Chinese support thus there is a backlash and it is the right time to regain our older ties, said Commodore Singh. During the Covid pandemic, India has assisted the countries like Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles and other island nations too in the Western Indian Ocean.