Indian warships will now be able to operate from Singapore’s Changi naval base with an eye to counter China’s increasing presence in the region. This was made possible after the two countries signed an agreement on Wednesday to enhance maritime security.The pact on naval cooperation is aimed at increased engagement in the maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other’s naval facilities and logistics support.The two countries also decided to boost their defence cooperation with to combat terrorism during wide-ranging talks between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen.”India and Singapore remain strongly committed to tackle the transnational security threats,” Sitharaman said at a joint media interaction with Ng, noting that both sides agreed to ramp up overall defence cooperation.The Singaporean defence minister called the talks “overwhelmingly successful and productive” and emphasised the need for concerted regional and global efforts to deal with terrorism and other challenges such as tackling chemical and biological weapons.The ministers emphasised the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and trade consistent with international law.Appreciating India’s leading role in the Indian Ocean Region, Ng agreed to India’s proposal for continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in shared maritime space of the two countries, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional and ASEAN partners.Both sides also signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) to further strengthen the long-standing defence relationship between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indian armed forces.The joint statement said both ministers look forward to the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Singapore- India maritime bilateral exercise next year.They welcomed the renewal of agreement between the air forces of the two countries earlier this year and look forward to the successful renewal of a similar pact between their armies, the statement said.The two ministers also discussed Singapore’s proposal to expand the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea to all ADMM (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting)-Plus countries as well as to establish guidelines for air encounters between military aircraft, the statements said.The two ministers resolved to work closely in joint development of various defence platforms.They agreed that to facilitate greater collaboration in aerospace, electronics and other areas of mutual interest between the defence industries of both countries.AGREEMENTSIndia and Singapore on Wednesday signed an agreement to enhance maritime security. They also decided to boost defence cooperation to combat terrorism.
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Indian naval ships to operate from Singapore