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India, Singapore renew agreement on joint army training

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An Indian Army photo.

SINGAPORE (PTI): India and Singapore have reaffirmed their strong and long-standing defence ties as they renewed a bilateral agreement for the conduct of joint army training and exercises for another five years.

The agreement was signed on Monday between Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur and his Singaporean counterpart Chiang Chie Foo after visiting Defence Minister A K Antony held bilateral talks with his host Ng Eng Hen.

Antony is in Singapore on a working visit.

The Agreement for the Conduct of Joint Army Training and Exercises was first established on 12 August 2008. Its renewal allows the Singapore Army to train and exercise with the Indian Army in India for another five years.

The two armies have jointly conducted bilateral armour and artillery exercises, codenamed Ex Bold Kurukshetra and Ex Agni Warrior respectively.

The most recent bilateral armour exercise was successfully conducted in March 2013 and both armies also carried out a combined artillery live-firing in December 2012.

"The renewal of the Bilateral Agreement is testament to the warm defence relationship between India and Singapore," according to a statement issued by Ministry of Defence here.

Apart from the Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy engage their Indian counterparts in joint military training and exercises annually.

Besides joint military training, both defence establishments also interact regularly through high-level visits, policy dialogues, courses, seminars and other professional exchanges.

During his visit, Antony was also hosted by Ng to a dinner, during which both Ministers reaffirmed the strong and long-standing defence ties between the two countries.

Antony will also visit Australia and Thailand as part of his three nation visit aimed at strengthening India's defence ties with the countries in Asia Pacific region.

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