Home India News Antony to visit Singapore June 1-3

Antony to visit Singapore June 1-3


New Delhi : Defence Minister A.K. Antony is to visit Singapore June 1-3, the first time he will be travelling abroad after assuming office seven months ago.

"During the visit, he will essentially be addressing the Shangri La dialogue," an official here said.

The sixth edition of the dialogue, organised by Singapore's International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), brings together 26 countries including Australia, Britain Canada, China, France, Germany, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the US, to discuss the defence and security diplomacy scenario in the southeast Asia region.

During the visit, Antony is likely to hold discussions with his counterparts from other countries as also with Singapore officials on concluding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on ramping up military cooperation between the two countries.

Indicative of their close military ties, two Indian Navy ships, the guided missile destroyer INS Mysore and the guided missile corvette INS Kultar, will be participating in the biennial International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) in Singapore May 15-19. But it was not immediately known whether Antony would attend.

The two ships are part of a five-vessel Indian Navy flotilla that conducted a joint drill with the Singapore Navy in March.

India and Singapore have been conducting joint naval exercises for the past 12 years. In 2005, they held their first joint army and air force exercises.

Singapore hopes this cooperation can be institutionalised through an MoU – and India has indicated its willingness for this.