New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today called on Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat in Singapore, and reiterated India’s stand that the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region should be “open, inclusive and stable”.
He stressed that the Indo-Pacific for India means an open, inclusive and stable region, connected through secure seas, integrated by trade and anchored by the unity and centrality of ASEAN.
He reiterated India’s stand that the implementation of international laws and norms, freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful settlement of disputes is the only way to ensure a rule-based order in the Indo-pacific region, an official statement said.
He conveyed Keat that the vision of India’s comprehensive agenda of regional cooperation is rooted in ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region’). Besides, communicated the country’s stand for not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
During the meeting he also expressed satisfaction at the increasing engagement of the Armed Forces of India and Singapore in conducting joint exercises.
Both leaders also agreed to take the increasing bilateral defence cooperation to greater heights.
The Defence Minister will co-chair the 4th India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue tomorrow before concluding his visit.
Rajnath Singh also visited the Sembawang Air Base and took a familiarisation air sortie in Super Puma Helicopter of Singapore Air Force and also visited Singapore naval ship RSS Stalwart.
The Defence Minister paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his Marker in Singapore and paid tributes to freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army (INA) martyrs at their memorial.