India, Singapore to enhance defence cooperation

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New Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) Defence cooperation in the fields of training and courses, UN peacekeeping, sports and adventure activities besides industry are high on the agenda of Singapore Army Chief General Neo Kian Hong's ongoing visit to India.

General Neo Kian Hong, who arrived here yesterday at the head of a high-level delegation, would visit Headquarters 31 Armoured Division, 50 (I) Para Brigade and XVI Corps headquarters.

The delegation would also interact with Defence Minister A K Antony, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor among other dignitaries.

The visit assumed special significance in view of enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries.

India has maintained strong diplomatic relations with Singapore in consonance with its foreign policy. The friendship between the two countries was based on historical and cultural linkages. In consonance to India's 'Look East Policy' and growing concerns in South East Region, defence cooperation had been an important tool towards enhancing this friendship.

Singapore happens to be the only country in this region with whom India not only had a defence cooperation agreement, but also a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement, one of its kind that New Delhi has with any nation.

Singapore had supported India at every International forum, be it membership in the ASEAN Regional Forum, UNSC permanent membership, participation in Malacca Strait Security Plan or at the inaugural East Asian Summit in 2005.

Cooperation between the two armies had enhanced in the field of training, visits, equipment cooperation and other activities.

Discussions on enhancing defence cooperation in the fields of training and courses, UN peacekeeping, sports and adventure activities and defence industry would be held during the visit.

UNI AG RL HT1612

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