New Zealand High Commission New Delhi, India

Defence Advisor to the High Commission concludes maiden India visit

Our Defence Advisor, Air Commodore Shaun Clarke, who will be based at the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra, just concluded his maiden visit to India.

Focussed on New Delhi, the visit was aimed at helping him familiarise himself with relevant defence authorities in India and explore possible areas of cooperation between the two countries. He interacted with personnel from the Indian armed forces and was privileged to have a close-up look at some of their work. Clarke also met several representatives from a variety of ‘think tanks’ including the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and The National Maritime Foundation.

As Shaun commented, “New Zealand’s relationship with India was forged at Gallipoli, where Indian forces fought directly north of ANZAC forces on the peninsula. We share that extraordinarily important time in history, when both nations were heavily under colonial influence, and from each ultimately emerged with strong democracies and strong independent foreign policies. The values held by our nations are similar in many ways and, besides ongoing attention to terrorism, our armed forces share a growing focus on maritime security in our respective oceans. There is a great deal to be shared and learned between our two countries, and we look forward to that growing relationship.”

One of the specifics on his agenda this time was a forthcoming visit of a 35-member delegation from the Wellington-based New Zealand Defence College to India and preparation related to it. The visit, most likely to take place in November, will take the group to various important military centres of the country. On April 10, Clarke also took time out to visit a few polling booths in New Delhi to get a flavour of the largest democratic exercise in the world – the Indian Parliamentary elections.

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