Chief of the Air Staff of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari arriving at the BIA

Chief of the Air Staff of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, arrived in the country yesterday, on a four-day official visit, on the invitation of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, the SLAF Media Unit said.

SLAF Chief of Staff Air Vice Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa and Deputy High Commissioner of India, Vinod K. Jacob, warmly welcomed Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on his arrival.

During the visit, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari is scheduled to make courtesy calls on President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and have meetings with Minister of State for Defence, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, and Service Commanders.

“The visit symbolises strong relations, and close cooperation, between the two friendly neighbours, with Sri Lanka being accorded the status of ‘Priority One’ partner by India,” the Indian High Commission said.

Underlining the strong bonds of friendship between the two services,  Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari would be laying the foundation stone for the India-Sri Lanka Friendship Auditorium, at the Sri Lanka Air Force Academy, Trincomalee, under the 250 Million LKR Grant assistance by the Government of India (GOI), in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the statement said.

As part of GOI’s commitment towards capacity building of Sri Lanka Armed Forces, the Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force would be presenting AN-32 propellers to ensure high operational readiness of the aircraft in service with the Sri Lanka Air Force, it said.

He would also be interacting with students at the prestigious National Defence College, Sri Lanka and the Air Force Academy, China Bay, wherein training aids for the students would be gifted.

The visit of Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force is expected to strengthen the existing relations between the two countries and facilitate discussions on common security challenges and enhancing capacity and capability building initiatives towards ensuring Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), as propounded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the High Commission said.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari is visiting Sri Lanka on an invitation of Sri Lanka Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana.


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