By Doris Esa
Abuja – The Ambassador of Republic of Belarus to Nigeria, Mr Vyacheslav Bril, has commended the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for its role in combating insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
NAF’s Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said in a statement on Thursday that the Ambassador gave the commendation when he visited the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in Abuja.
Bril assured NAF of Belarusian Government’s continued support in the fight against terrorism while identifying possible areas of collaboration between his country and NAF.
He listed some of the areas to include acquisition and repairs of aircraft and aviation equipment, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology, aircraft armament, airfield meteorological equipment, training as well as cyber security.
Bril also assured that Belarusian government and its people were open to more cooperation with Nigeria to deepen the relationship between both countries.
He invited a NAF team to attend the 2019 International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) scheduled to hold in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in May.
In his remarks, Abubakar expressed delight to receive the Ambassador, and thanked him for highlighting the range of opportunities in Belarus which could be exploited by the NAF to surmount some of its challenges.
Abubakar noted that Nigeria and Belarus had maintained a very cordial, mutually-beneficial relationship, which had spanned many years and yielded tangible results.
He said that many of the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) personnel, including some NAF officers and men, were trained in Belarus.
He also said that the AFSF was instrumental to most major successes recorded in the North-East since their induction into the Theatre of Operation in 2014.
Abubakar equally attested to the dexterity of Belarusian aircraft technicians, having had some attached to his unit while serving as Commander, 115 Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt.
He said that he was fairly-well acquainted with the level of expertise in defence and security matters that was available in Belarus.
He expressed willingness of NAF to explore the opportunities presented by Belarus, especially in the area of training.
Abubakar said arrangements would be made for a team of NAF officers to not only attend IDEX 2019, but also visit some of the training institutions, factories and repair facilities in Belarus.
He said technical discussions would be held with a view to ascertaining specific areas of collaboration that would enhance NAF operations. (NAN)