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Monday, January 17, 2022

India ready to assist countries in Bay of Bengal region: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh was speaking at PANEX-21, a multi-agency exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: December 21, 2021 3:35:05 pm
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the gathering after witnessing a Multi-Agency Exercise on the second day of PANEX-21, a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise for BIMSTEC member nations, organised at College of Military Engineering in Pune, Maharashtra, Dec. 21, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India will assist countries in the Bay of Bengal region in all possible ways and develop measures for regional cooperation in disaster relief.

Singh was speaking at PANEX-21, a multi-agency exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries. The exercise is being conducted at the College of Military Engineering in Pune.

The defence minister said in his address, “Efforts by a nation directly affected by natural disaster, may quite understandably fall short due to the huge magnitude of such disasters. Thus, a multilateral effort, involving partners in the Bay of Bengal region, will act as a force multiplier in pooling-in resources and orchestrating relief measures. It will hasten the process of providing relief to citizens who are already distressed due to the natural disaster. It will remain India’s endeavour to facilitate, support and assist in all possible ways and develop measures that aid in regional cooperation, which benefit all the member states, in the Bay of Bengal region.”

He further said, “Friends, our experience with Covid-19 has indicated that the challenges posed by such calamities demand very specific resources. It becomes critical to move these specific resources within a short span of time, to the areas facing an emergency. At a regional level, this suggests the need for a seamless information-sharing mechanism, establishment of protocols for moving responders, material and creating requisite capacities on the basis of country-specific contribution. The time-sensitive nature of support further demands that we identify and earmark capabilities, to move emergency aid, expeditiously.”

The multilateral and multi-agency exercise is being held in Pune between December 20 and 22 and is seeing the participation of defence forces from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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