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'India-Singapore maritime ties growing stronger'

Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba shakes hands with Singapore Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong during Silver Jubilee Commemoration Ceremony to mark 25th edition of Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) held onboard INS Sahyadri in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, in Visakhapatnam, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. A PTI Photo.

VISAKHAPATNAM, AP (PTI): Bilateral naval exercises by India and Singapore have further strengthened the good maritime cooperation between the two nations over the years, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba has said.

Addressing the media on Monday onboard "INS Sahyadri" at the navy dockyard here on the occasion of the silver jubilee of SIMBEX (Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise) 2018, he said both the countries had accorded highest priority for maritime security in the Asian region.

"India and Singapore are like-minded countries and the cooperation between the two over the last 25 years has further strengthened the ties," he said.

Noting that the bilateral exercises had started in 1994 with only one anti-submarine ship, he said it had grown every year from then and in the ongoing event 14 ships were taking part indicating the good ties between the two nations.

The bilateral exercises and professorial interactions had given a chance to exchange views and wide range of information between the naval personnel of the two nations, the Admiral said.

Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy Rear Admiral Lew Chuen Hong, who also spoke, said acknowledged India's support to Singapore and said the friendship between the two countries helped in the area of maritime security in the region.

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore in June this year enhanced the special defence relations, he said.

Noting that both the countries had signed an agreement for continuous bilateral exercises, he said SIMBEX was the largest exercise in the Bay of Bengal.

Later, both the naval chiefs unveiled the SIMBEX logo and presented SIMBEX caps.

In addition, they released the SIMBEX India postal cover and Singapore stamps during the commemoration ceremony.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern naval Command Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh and other officials were among those present.

A total of 14 ships were participating in the 12-day exercise, which began on November 10 as part of efforts by the two countries to further solidify maritime security cooperation.

Started in 1994, the SIMBEX has graduated into a complex maritime combat drills featuring missile and torpedo firings as well as shore-based intensive professional exchanges.


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