11/30/2017 2:06:53 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
India and Singapore agreed on greater cooperation in the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea as the two countries concluded a wide-ranging naval agreement in New Delhi on November 29.
“We want to see more participation and activity in both the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea,” Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said at a joint press conference with the Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the second Singapore-India Defence Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, reported The Hindu.
“I not only support but I would also encourage the Indian Navy to visit the Changi naval base more often,” Dr Ng said was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Early this year, the Indian Navy permanently deployed a frontline warship at the mouth of the strait, The Hindu added. The agreement would give the Indian Navy the ability for extended deployments in the region, it noted.
“We will conduct exercises and patrols in your waters as you do in ours,” Dr Ng was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
A joint statement issued by the two defence ministers noted that the agreement "will lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other's naval facilities and mutual logistics support".
The joint statement also acknowledged the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation in international waters, and the free flow of maritime trade and access to the global commons in a manner consistent with international law.
Dr Ng said, “I was very thankful that we concluded the bilateral navy agreement…as well as agreed to look into, not only renewing the agreements between our armies and our air forces, but to step up the level of engagements," Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in an official release.
Hailing the conclusion of the naval agreement - which means the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be the only military to have bilateral agreements with India for all its service arms - Mindef said it was “testament to the breadth and depth of military-to-military ties between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Indian Armed Forces”.
Earlier, Dr Ng visited the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal where he was flown in the Indian Tejas fighter plane - the first civilian from outside India to fly in the locally-developed aircraft. He described it as “excellent”. Around 100 RSAF personnel and six F-16 fighter jets are currently at the Kalaikunda base for joint military training, reported The Straits Times.