India and Singapore on Wednesday signed an agreement on submarine rescue support and cooperation between the two navies during the 5th Defence Ministers dialogue held virtually between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen.
According to an official statement, defence and security engagements between India and Singapore have broadened significantly in scale and scope across all three services of the Armed Forces as well as in the areas of defence technology and industry. Both countries have also found common ground on multilateral fora and engagements.
During their virtual interaction, both the ministers welcomed initiatives to expand bilateral defence cooperation including the implementing agreement on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) cooperation in August 2020 for the two Armed Forces to have closer operational collaboration in response to disasters and capacity-building activities of mutual interest, said an official statement.
During the dialogue, both ministers exchanged views on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the defence and security engagements, including the best practices adopted by their Armed Forces. Rajnath Singh conveyed gratitude for the role of the Singapore Armed Forces, in supporting foreign workers, many of whom were Indian nationals, at the peak of the pandemic.
Dr Ng also complimented India’s successes in bringing down the overall numbers despite challenges of scale in terms of geography and population, the statement added.