NAIROBI, Kenya, January 12, 2018/ — A 3-member defence delegation led by Mr. Sanjay Mitra, Defence Secretary of India is visiting Kenya on 11-12 January 2018 to discuss issues of bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries. This is the first-ever visit to Kenya by India’s Defence Secretary in recent decades.
The Indian delegation held talks with the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Defence Ambassador Raychelle Omamo and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and Kenya Defence Forces on 11 January 2018. A number of issues on wide-ranging topics of bilateral defence cooperation were discussed during the meeting. Both sides identified several areas of cooperation and agreed to further enhance bilateral defence ties.
India and Kenya have long-standing relations in the field of defence cooperation. India offers a number of training courses to Kenya Defence Forces personnel each year in her several military institutions. Military delegations from both countries regularly pay official visits and study tours to each other to imbibe best practices followed in the respective militaries and explore common grounds for further engagement between the two sides. Ships of the Indian Navy regularly pay goodwill visits to Mombasa. A number of professional interactions are held by the ship’s crew with Kenya Defence Forces’ personnel during such good will visits. India has also carried out joint hydrography surveys along with Kenyan officials in Kenyan waters in 2013 and 2014.
During the State Visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Kenya in July 2016 and later during the State Visit of the Kenyan President to India in January 2017, the two countries agreed to further enhance their bilateral defence and security ties through a number of initiatives. In July 2016, India and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation and India gifted 30 Field Ambulances to the Kenya Defence Forces to support its role in combat duties. Earlier, Admiral RK Dhowan, the previous Chief of Naval Staff visited Kenya in November 2015.