In a significant move towards cementing bilateral defence ties with Singapore, India has agreed to extend military training facilities to its Southeast Asian neighbour for five years beginning August this year.
The two countries signed a joint agreement to this effect at a meeting held by Defence Minister A K Antony, who was on a daylong visit to Singapore, with his counterpart Ng Eng Hen.
Indian Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur and Singaporean Permanent Secretary of Defence Chiang Chie Foo inked the deal in the presence of the two defence ministers, said Ministry of Defence officials, from Singapore.
Singapore had signed similar agreement with India in October 2007 when its air force required the Indian Air Force facilities at Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal for training and air exercise purposes. The deal was followed by an August 2008 agreement that allowed Singaporean Army to train at Indian facilities, particularly those at Babina in central India.
The agreement for training and exercises of Singapore Air Force in India was extended until October 2017 during the visit of Singapore’s Permanent Secretary of Defence to India in July last year.
Singapore is the only country to which India is offering such facilities. Defence Minister A K Antony, who is now on a three-nation tour, arrived in Singapore on Monday evening.The two sides held wide-ranging talks on defence cooperation.
They also exchanged views on global and regional security issues including Asia-Pacific security.From Singapore, Antony left for Australia.