Singapore, India to step up defence cooperation

Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shake hands during bilateral talks between both countries.
Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shake hands during bilateral talks between both countries.PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK

MANILA - Singapore and India on Tuesday (Oct 24) reaffirmed their "strong and long-standing defence relationship" in bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting at the Clark freeport, north of Manila.

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also discussed ways to enhance bilateral defence cooperation under the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), signed in November 2015.

Under the DCA, Singapore and India agree to establish a regular defence ministers' dialogue, deepen cooperation in maritime security, and encourage cooperation between their defence industries.

The agreement also encompasses bilateral training and exercises, and cooperation in areas of common interest, including defence technology and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Dr Ng and Ms Sitharaman acknowledged in their bilateral talks the "good progress made under the revised DCA".

Among these are the first Defence Industry Working Group in May 2016 and the inaugural Singapore-India Defence Ministers' Dialogue (DMD) held in June 2016.

Both sides are also looking forward to Dr Ng's visit to India next month for the second DMD.