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Military ties vital for bilateral relations: Wen

The Chinese Premier, who held talks with Pranab Mukherjee, declared the latter's visit to China a success.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 17:02 IST

A day after India and China signed a historic pact to further expand cooperation in defence sector, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday said that military-to-miltary ties were an important component in relations between the two countries.

Wen, who held talks with the visiting Pranab Mukherjee, declared the Defence Minister's visit to China a "success" with the militaries of both sides reaching "extensive consensus" between them.

"Your visit to China is successful," Wen told Mukherjee, noting that he and Chinese Defence Minister General Cao Gangchuan had reached "extensive consensus" during their bilateral talks on Monday.

The two ministers had reached consensus to "endeavour" to hold joint military exercises and/or training programmes in the field of search and rescue, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and other areas of mutual interest.

Wen noted that military-to-military ties were an important component in state-to-state relations and Mukherjee's ongoing visit during the India-China Friendship Year was a major event.

Mukherjee, now on the third day of his six-day official visit, acknowledged that he had a "very useful" dialogue with his Chinese counterpart.

He also pointed out to Wen that it was the first time for India and China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation.