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Parrikar to attend security dialogue in Singapore


BRAHMOS Weapon System. A Brahmand photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will next month travel to Singapore for the key Shangri-La Dialogue focussing on inter-governmental security and also undertake a two-day bilateral visit to Vietnam to deepen military ties.

Vietnam has expressed interest to acquire Indian-made BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile.

Parrikar is expected to leave for Singapore on June 3 to attend the inter-governmental security forum on June 4, defence ministry sources said here on Monday.

Last year, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh had represented India at the Shangri-La Dialogue which focusses on security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is an inter-governmental security forum held annually by an independent think-tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and is attended by defence ministers and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific countries.

Last year, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had attended the dialogue.

Among the issues that are likely to be discussed are freedom of navigation and security issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region.

Parrikar will then travel to Vietnam, which is involved in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Last year, India and Vietnam had decided to enhance their bilateral defence cooperation and signed a joint vision statement for five years.

Vietnam, which is building a naval deterrent to China with Russian-made Kilo-class submarines, is keen on India training its submarine personnel. It also has expressed interest to acquire Indian-made BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile, a deal for which India is open to.

Vietnam may become the first country to be supplied the 290 km-range BRAHMOS weapon system, a joint venture of India and Russia.

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