New Delhi, April 17 : The special forces of India and Kyrgyzstan have started a two-week military exercise in Bishkek with a focus on counter-terror drills.

The exercise named, 'Khanjar', was inaugurated on Friday at the Special Forces Brigade of National Guards of Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek.

It is the eight edition of the India-Kyrgyz Joint Special Forces Exercise.

Initiated first in 2011, the two-week long exercise focuses on high-altitude, mountains and counter-extremism.

Commander of Kyrgyz National Guards, Colonel Ergeshov Talantbek, in his opening remarks, commended high-altitude resilience of the two personnel and their camaraderie and interoperability.

Recalling the India-Kyrgyz civilisational bonds, Ambassador Alok A. Dimri welcomed the Indian contingent for the Exercise and felicitated their role as a bridge in promoting shared mountain and nomadic-heritage of the two peoples.

A ceremonial parade graced the occasion along with a display of equipment and weapons and a visit to the training arena and barracks.

It envisaged conduct of joint military exercises, exchange of experience and information, and exchange of military observers and instructors besides others.

In 2018, India and Kyrgyzstan signed four agreements, including one to boost defence cooperation and hold annual joint military exercises.

The two countries had agreed to expeditiously consider signing an agreement on "combating international terrorism and other crimes".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit in 2018 to emphasis the need to combat terrorism and extremism, a threat without borders.

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