The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited Singapore on June 3 to attend the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue. Parrikar met the Minister for Defence of Singapore Dr Ng Eng Hen to cochair the inaugural Singapore-India Defence Ministers’ Dialogue (DMD).
A joint statement issued after the DMD is as follows: “Dr Ng and Mr Parrikar commended the longstanding defence ties between Singapore and India, and noted the DMD would take the relationship to new heights. Both Ministers welcomed the growth in the defence relationship since the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in 2003 and the revised DCA in 2015. Defence cooperation had been identified as a key sector under the IndiaSingapore Joint Declaration on Stra- tegic Partnership signed during the visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Singapore in November 2015.
The two Ministers noted that their bilateral defence cooperation has been long-standing. The two navies conducted the first Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) in 1994. SIMBEX has grown more ambitious over the years, incorporating the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Archer class submarine and the Indian Navy’s Kamorta class corvette and P-8I aircraft for the first time in May 2015.
Dr Ng thanked Parrikar for India’s strong support for the Singapore Air Force’s training in India, covered under the ambit of bilateral agreements for air force and army training. Both sides agreed to work towards the renewal of both agreements in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Parrikar extended an invitation to Dr Ng to visit India to continue the bilateral ministerial dialogue.