Colombo [Sri Lanka], March 3 (ANI): On his two-day visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary and Sri Lanka Air Force Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana.
Earlier in the day, Bhadauria arrived in Colombo on invitation from Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana for the SLAF's 70th anniversary.
During his visit, the IAF Chief is also scheduled to interact with various dignitaries and witness grand air show on 70th Anniversary of the SLAF.
"CAS Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria called on @PresRajapaksa and met Defence Secretary and SLAF Commander. He is scheduled to meet other dignitaries and also witness Airshow on 70th Anniversary of SLAF performed jointly by @airforcelk and @IAF_MCC during the 2 day goodwill visit," India in Sri Lanka wrote in a tweet.
Meanehile, Rajapaksa tweeted: "The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal of the #Indian Air Force, RKS Bhadauria who is currently visiting #SriLanka to attend the #70th Anniversary Celebrations of the @airforcelk called on me today. Discussed areas in the defence sect where cooperation can be expanded further."
On Saturday, the IAF aerobatic display teams, the fixed wing "Suryakirans" and rotary wing "Sarang", along with Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, had arrived at Colombo to participate in an Air Show.
The IAF and SLAF have had consistent cooperative exchanges over the years and interact regularly through Headquarter level Air staff talks to share valuable experiences in the fields of ground and flying training, professional military education, HADR and operational best practices, the India's Defence Ministry said.
The IAF's participation in the 70th-anniversary celebration of SLAF is a further manifestation of the strong professional bonds that the two Air Forces share. The IAF Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) had earlier toured Sri Lanka in 2001 for the 50th-anniversary celebrations of SLAF.
Recent years have also seen the two Air Forces increase inter-personnel engagements through exchange visits of serving personnel and families to both countries.
The presence of the IAF Chief during the inaugural day of the air show reinforces the strength of IAF-SLAF ties. However, the visit will further strengthen the existing cooperative process and open up newer avenues of mutual interest, the Ministry added. (ANI)