Singapore Defence minister embarks on 4-day visit to India

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Singapore, Oct 14 (UNI)Amid growing bilateral relations between the two countries, Singapore Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean today left for India for a four-day official visit.

On his arrival in New Delhi, the Singapore Minister will call on Defence Minister A K Antony, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Mr Teo will also meet with the three Indian Service Chiefs -- Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee/Chief Of Naval Staff ADM Sureesh Mehta, Chief of Air Staff ACM Fali Homi Major and Chief of Army Staff GEN Deepak Kapoor.

During his visit, Mr Teo will also observe the joint artillery exercise between the Singapore Army and the Indian Army.

This is Mr Teo's third visit to India as Minister for Defence, following previous visits in October 2003 and March 2005.

During Mr Teo's introductory visit in 2003, he signed the Defence Cooperation Agreement, which provided for cooperation in a wide range of activities.

Since then, bilateral interactions between the Singapore Armed Forces and Indian Armed Forces have grown in scope and depth to include joint exercises, Service-level staff talks and cross-attendance of courses.

There have been regular policy dialogues between the two defence establishments and exchanges in the area of defence technology, a Ministry of Defence statement said today.

Mr Teo's visit follows soon after Singapore Permanent Secretary (Defence) Chiang Chie Foo's visit to India to co-chair the Fourth Defence Policy Dialogue (DPD).

During the DPD, Mr Chiang and Indian Defence Secretary Vijay Singh signed the Bilateral Agreement for the Conduct of Joint Military Training and Exercises in India between the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The two visits underscore the warm and growing defence relations between Singapore and India.


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