INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, Jan 20 :India and Singapore signed a strategic part-nership agreement Monday, under which both the countries’ navies will support and cooperate with each other for submarine rescue missions.
It is one of the major steps taken by the Indian government to strengthen ties with South East/Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The decision was taken during a defence ministerial dialogue in the national capital.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh co-chaired the fifth India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue along with Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, Singapore.
During their virtual in-teraction, both ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress of the
ongoing defence cooperation en-gagements between the two coun-tries despite limitations imposed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Defence and security engage-ments between India and Singapore have broadened significantly in scale and scope across all three services of the armed forces as well as in the areas of defence technol-ogy and industry. Both countries have also found common ground on multilateral fora and engagements.
Representative image The ministers witnessed the sign-ing of the Implementing Agreement on Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Singapore Navy. They also conveyed their full support towards the early conclu-sion of agreements to facilitate the conduct of live firings and to es-tablish reciprocal arrangements for the cross-attendance of mili-tary courses.
Singh conveyed his compliments on the effectiveness of pandemic mitigation measures im-plemented in Singapore and the contribution of Singapore’s armed forces in restricting the spread of Covid-19. He also highlighted the role of the Indian armed forces in com-bating Covid-19 and various mis-sions undertaken to assist in repa-triation of Indians stranded overseas.
Hen reciprocated the com-pliments and exchanged views on the role of the armed forces in the whole of government’s approach towards controlling the pandemic. Both ministers also expressed satisfaction at the growing defence ties between the two countries.
Both sides reviewed the progress of various bilateral defence coopera-tion initiatives being pursued over the last year and expressed com-mitment to further elevate the scale of engagement in areas of defence technology and industry