Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday held bilateral talks with his Malagasy counterpart Lt Gen Rokotonirina Richard on the second day of Defence Expo 2020 in Lucknow.
During the discussions, Singh stressed upon enhancing ties in maritime security cooperation in the region. He noted that India and Madagascar, being maritime neighbours, should be responsible for a secure environment to ensure a flourishing and prosperous trade and commerce in the region.
In the light of the President of India's state visit to Madagascar in March 2018, the Defence Minister said that the historic visit had reaffirmed the excellent bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Apart from further strengthening defence ties, Singh hoped that the Defence Expo 2020 would provide a platform for both the countries to explore various areas of mutual engagement.
In his remarks, Lt Gen Richard said India has a great role to play in preserving security in the Indian ocean maritime region.
He expressed his government's sincere gratitude for 'Operation Vanilla,' wherein the Indian Navy had provided assistance to the affected population of Madagascar post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane.
The visiting dignitary invited Singh to attend the Independence Day celebrations of the East African country this year that is commemorated annually on June 26.