In another step towards strengthening ties between Singapore and India, the city-state’s Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Bin Osman will visit New Delhi to participate in the ninth India-ASEAN dialogue which will be organised from July 2 to 4. Ng Eng Hen, Defence Minister of Singapore and Vivian Balakrishnan, Foreign Minister of Singapore are also expected to visit India in the later part of the year.
Maliki Bin Osman will also hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterparts in defence and external affairs ministry in New Delhi during his scheduled visit.
India-ASEAN dialogue is an annual international conference of political and economic leaders, and opinion-makers of the ASEAN countries with their Indian counterparts to discuss intensification and broadening of political, strategic, economic and civil society interaction in the region.
Ng Eng Hen, Defence Minister of Singapore is also expected to visit India later this year to take part in the India-Singapore annual defence ministers’ dialogue. This will further boost the defence ties between both the countries. These meetings are in addition to regular ongoing annual staff talks between the Army, Air Force and Navy of the two countries.
Jawed Ashraf, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, said, “India is taking steps to further facilitate bilateral exercises with the Singapore armed forces. We have just conveyed that Singapore armed forces personnel going to train in India under bilateral agreement will be given gratis visa.”
Meanwhile, defence officials from the two countries are preparing for the 25th Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises (SIMBEX). India-Singapore defence relations are set to deepen further, after the 12-day deployment of Indian ships and the visit of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba to Singapore in May for the International Maritime Review to mark 50 years of Singapore Navy and SIMBEX.
India is also preparing to host Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan later this year as part of the high-level bilateral meetings between the two countries. Details of the ministerial visits are being worked out.
“India and Singapore will continue to maintain a high momentum of engagement across the broad spectrum of their bilateral relations to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries,” said Ashraf.