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India, Singapore resolve to deepen cooperation; renew military training pact

India, Singapore resolve to deepen cooperation; renew military training pact
November 21
11:07 2018

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) India and Singapore on Tuesday agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in defence and regional maritime security and renewed the pact to conduct joint military training and exercises in India at the 3rd Defence Ministers Dialogue (DMD).

In a joint statement at the conclusion of the dialogue, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Singapore counterpart Ng Eng Hen agreed to step up intelligence and information sharing, particularly in the areas of maritime security and counter terrorism and expand collaboration on submarine safety and rescue.

Both Ministers agreed on the importance of international cooperation in tackling transnational security threats and in particular measures to collectively tackle the threat of terrorism.

“Ng Eng Hen said Singapore strongly supports India’s deep engagement with ASEAN member states participation in patrols along the Straits of Malacca with Singapore and looks forward to an inaugural conduct of the trilateral maritime exercise with Thailand in the Andaman Sea,” a Defence Ministry official said.

Sitharaman affirmed India’s full support and active participation in the regional security architecture of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and its many initiatives. As an ADMM Plus member, India supports the adoption of the Guidelines for Air Military Encounters, the official added.

As littoral countries astride key Sea Lines of Communication, the Ministers underscored the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Sitharaman reaffirmed India’s belief that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means, and in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law.

Earlier in the day, Ng Eng Hen attended the final sea phase of the 25th edition of the Singapore-India joint military drill, SIMBEX, on board INS Shakti.

The multi-dimensional exercise witnessed participation of ships, submarines a well as aircraft from both sides and live firings at sea.

The DMD commenced after both countries signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in 2015. The next edition of the dialogue is likely to held in Singapore.

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