June 25, 2019

India, Singapore renew bilateral Air Force training agreement

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SINGAPORE: India and Singapore have renewed a bilateral agreement that will allow Singapore’s Air Force to continue its joint military training with Indian Air Force for another five years, a statement said today. The bilateral agreement for the conduct of joint military training and exercises in India between the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) was concluded in 2007 and last renewed in 2012.

Under the agreement, the RSAF will have regular opportunities to train with the IAF’s advanced Su-30 fighter aircraft, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement. The renewed agreement was signed by Singapore’s Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit and India’s Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar, and witnessed by Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and India’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf here.

Kumar’s visit reaffirms the warm and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and India, strengthened by the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in 2015 as well as the Air Force and Army Bilateral Agreements concluded in 2007 and 2008, respectively, said the statement. Kumar was on a two-day visit to Singapore from yesterday to co-chair the 11th Singapore-India Defence Policy Dialogue (DPD) with Chan.

Besides the DPD, the two defence establishments also interact regularly through high-level visits, professional exchanges and defence technology cooperation. During the dialogue, which is a regular forum for both countries to discuss areas of defence cooperation and strategic developments of mutual interest, both sides underscored the “strong and growing ties” between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Indian Armed Forces, MINDEF said.

“Kumar and Chan also committed to strengthening bilateral defence interactions and welcomed deeper defence cooperation for mutual benefit,” it added. The Indian defence secretary also called on Ng today, with both parties reaffirming the strong bilateral defence relations between both countries and discussing geopolitical and security developments in the region, the ministry said.

UK PM May says Britain faces momentous change as it leaves EU

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British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Lancaster House in London on January 17, 2017, where she made a speech on the government’s plans for Brexit. (Photo | AFP)

DAVOS: Britain is facing a period of momentous change following its decision to leave the European Union and will need to forge a new role in the world, Prime Minister Theresa May told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

May, who has said Britain wants a “bold and ambitious” trade agreement with the EU when it leaves the bloc, said Britain would step up to a new leadership role as a strong advocate for business, free markets and free trade after Brexit.

“Let us not underestimate the magnitude of that decision. Britain must face up to a period of momentous change, it means we must go through a tough negotiation and forge a new role for ourselves in the world, it means accepting that the road ahead will be uncertain at times,” May said.

May also said Britain had already started discussions on future trade ties with countries including New Zealand, Australia and India.

Syria's Assad says Astana talks will focus on ceasefire

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Bashar al-Assad (File | AP)

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said peace talks in the Kazakh capital next week will focus on enforcing a cessation of hostilities to allow aid access across the country.

“I believe that they will focus, in the beginning, and will prioritise, as we see it, reaching a ceasefire,” Assad told Japanese television channel TBS, according to excerpts released by his office. 

“This will be to protect people’s lives and allow humanitarian aid to reach various areas in Syria,” he said.

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