The most senior military officer in the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL, will visit to India this week to further reinforce an already robust UK-India defence and security partnership. Sir Stuart last visited in April 2015 as the UK’s Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
Under the umbrella of the 2015 Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP), Sir Stuart will meet senior Indian ministers and defence officers. His meetings will cover the growing strategic defence relationship through the recently established Capability Partnerships; the threat of terrorism and extremism faced globally; multinational cooperation; upcoming exercises, and UN Peacekeeping.
Ahead of his visit, Sir Stuart said:,
“I very much look forward to visiting India again. It is not only our shared history and democratic values that bind us together; but increasingly it is the threats and challenges to these values, that we face in an ever changing global environment, that bring us closer together, making the UK and India truly strategic defence partners. Whether standing shoulder to shoulder in countering terrorism and violent extremism, undertaking UN Peacekeeping operations, or forging ahead on developing advanced equipment programmes, the UK-India partnership is an enviable one internationally. I intend to ensure that my visit demonstrates further that the UK’s commitment to India and our relationship is undisputed, now and for the future”.
CDS will visit Delhi and Kolkata over four days. In addition to official office calls and engagements, Sir Stuart will pay his respects to the 74,000 Indians who served and died in the First World War by laying a wreath of Marigolds at India Gate. Following the UK Secretary of State for Defence’s visit in April this year, Sir Stuart’s also touch upon the defence industry and the UK’s support to PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
The UK and India’s Armed Forces continue to benefit from a long-standing and close relationship. Both countries’ Armed Forces are undergoing a transformation, and the learning experiences from each other in areas such as the joint aircraft carrier project, to combatting terrorism, to United Nations Peacekeeping, develops best practice between these global partners.
This visit will complement and build upon that of the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, who visited New Delhi in April 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-india-uk-defence-partnership