Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday exuded confidence that the cooperation between India, Russia, China and other countries of Central Asia will strengthen in the coming days and they will be able to face global threats with mutual support.
Singh was addressing the concluding ceremony of the fifth International Army Scout Masters Competition in Jaisalmer.
Teams from Russia, China, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Sudan and Uzbekistan and India participated in the competition.
"I believe that our association will grow in coming times. With increased mutual cooperation, we will be able to face difficult challenges. At the same time, we will get more opportunities to increase mutual relations in future," Singh said.
He expressed confidence that events like the scout masters competition would help deepen the relationship between the participating countries.
We already had friendly relations with all countries participating in this competition, he added.
Singh said India had a very deep strategic relationship with Russia for a long time.
At the same time, with China, we participated in the bilateral exercise Hand-in-Hand, which helped us in understanding each other, he said, adding that country had trade and cultural relations with Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
Singh also honoured the winning teams.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was also present on the occasion.
A military spokesman said the Indian team finished first in four phases of the five-stage competition.
The Indian team finished second and Uzbekistan first in the fifth stage.
India finished first in the final while Uzbekistan stood second, Russia third, China fourth, Kazakhstan fifth, Belarus sixth, Armenia seventh and Sudan eighth.
The spokesperson said the Indian Army participated in the competition for the first time.