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India and Singapore remain strongly committed on tackling transnational security threats

Amader Bharat Desk, November 29, New Delhi: The 2nd Defense Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore was successfully concluded today in New Delhi. It was inaugurated after both countries signed the revised Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in 2015 to further strengthen the longstanding defense relationship between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indian Armed Forces.

Of particular significance during this meeting was the conclusion of the India-Singapore Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation, which will lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises and temporary deployments from each other’s naval facilities and mutual logistics support. Both Ministers looked forward to the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise next year.

Dr. Ng expressed his appreciation for India’s continued support for the SAF’s training in India, covered by the Air Force and Army Bilateral Agreements. Both Ministers welcomed the renewal of the Air Force Bilateral Agreement on the sidelines of the 11th Singapore-India Defense Policy Dialogue in January this year and looked forward to the successful renewal of the Army Bilateral Agreement next year.

On regional security, both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining maritime freedom of navigation and trade consistent with international law. India plays a vital role in the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus. Both Ministers also discussed Singapore’s proposal to expand the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea to all ADMM-Plus countries as well as to establish guidelines for air encounters between military aircraft, in order to reduce the risk of miscalculations.

Both Ministers emphasized the importance of international cooperation in tackling transnational security threats and in particular measures to collectively tackle the threat of terrorism. Singapore and India have also made progress in defense industry cooperation, with the signing of the terms of reference for the Defense Industry Working Group (DIWG) in August this year. They agreed that this would facilitate greater collaboration in aerospace, electronics and other areas of mutual interest between the defense industries of both countries.

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