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Embassy of India commemorated the silver jubilee of Indian Army Training Team (IATT) in Lao PDR

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18 September 2020, Grand Hotel, Vientiane,

Embassy of India, Vientiane commemorated the silver jubilee of Indian Army Training Team (IATT) in Lao PDR. The IATT in Lao PDR was set up in August 1995 under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme for the purpose of imparting English language training to trainees at the Kaysone Phomvihane Academy for National Defence (KAND), in Vientiane, a premier military training institution of Lao PDR. Numerous four-year courses, intensive one-year courses and short courses have been conducted by the Team at KAND.

2.  H.E. Major General Onesy Saensouk, Deputy Minister of National Defence of Lao PDR was the Chief Guest for the occasion. H.E. Mr. Thongsavanh PHOMVIHANE, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs also graced the occasion. Besides, the Commandant, Political Commissar of KAND, alumni of the Academy, and alumni of the Defence ITEC Programme were present, in addition to some members of the Indian community. Altogether, about 100 people attended the function.

3.  The Indian Army Training Team Leader Lt Col Vikas Bhandari took the gathering for a brief walk down the history lane with an overview of the Team's eventful journey of 25 years in Lao PDR. The current Team led by Lt. Col. Vikas Bhandari joined in February 2020; it is the 11th Team.

4.  In his address, the Deputy Minister of National Defence noted that the friendly relations, solidarity and cooperation between the two armed forces have continuously strengthened and developed, especially capacity building in English Language of Lao officials. He also conveyed sincere appreciation to government, armed forces and people of India for kind support and assistance over the past years. He added that he greatly valued the friendly relations between the two countries and good cooperation existing has been further strengthened and developed, and that exchanges of visits at various levels have contributed to enhancing the friendly relations, friendship, solidarity and close cooperation between our two countries.

5.  The Ambassador of India, Mr. Dinkar Asthana, gave an overview of the bilateral ties between the two countries, recounting in brief India’s footprint in Lao PDR in culture, development cooperation, besides defence cooperation, noting that India’s partnership with Lao PDR was on the basis solidarity, equality and mutual benefit. He conveyed his thanks and deep appreciation for the unstinting support and cooperation extended by the Government of Lao PDR to the IATT through these years to enable them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.