Antony to leave for 3-day Malaysia visit on Sunday

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony will leave for Malaysia on a three-day official visit from Sunday in continuation of the country's Look East policy.

He had visited Vietnam last month.

During his stay in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Antony will hold detailed discussions with his Malaysian counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Hajiabdul Razak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Syed Hamid Albar. He will also call on Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi and visit Penang, where he would meet Governor Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas.

The Defence Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Advisor Sundaram Krishna, Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Z U Shah, Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal N A K Browne, Vice Admiral K N Sushil and Joint Secretary (South), External Affairs Ministry Biren Nanda, a Defence Ministry statement said here today.

Malaysia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Independence and 2008 also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

India and Malaysia entered into defence cooperation with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 1993. Last month, the sixth Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Meeting (MIDCOM) was held here to explore new areas of cooperation.

The two countries signed a protocol on training of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilots by Indian Air Force on SU-30 MKM aircraft last month.

Earlier in May 2007, an MoU was signed by Hindustan Aeronautics with the Malaysian Defence Ministry for technical training of RMAF personnel on SU-30 MKM aircraft.

Mr Antony will return on January 8.

UNI SAA MS KN1721

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