Antony to hold defence talks with Singapore, Australia, Thailand

New Delhi, May 30 (ANI): Defence Minster A.K. Antony will be making a three-nation official visit to Singapore, Australia, and Thailand from June 3 to 6.

In Singapore, Antony will be meeting his counterpart Dr. Ng Eng Hen. Dr. Ng had visited India in November last year. The two Defence Minister will be meeting on Monday next and are expected to discuss various bilateral co-operation issues as well as issues concerning the regional global security situations.

Antony's visit to Australia will be the first ever visit by an Indian Defence Minister to that country. He will be stopping over at Perth enroute to Canberra. He will be received by the Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith at Perth where both ministers will attend a few ceremonial events before proceeding to Canberra.

In Canberra, Antony will be holding detailed bilateral discussions with Smith and is also expected to call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Both sides would be discussing measures to enhance exchanges between the defence establishments and armed forces of the two countries.

Antony's visit to Thailand is in response to an invitation from the Thai Defence Minister who had visited India in December 2012, and would be taking place shortly after the visit of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Thailand.

During his visit, Antony will be meeting his counterpart Air Chief Marshal SukumpolSuwanatat and is also expected to call on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Both sides are expected to review on-going exchanges between the armed forces including possible enhancement of on-going Army and Navy exercises and joint patrols along the common maritime boundary between both countries.

The Defence Minister will return home on Thursday. (ANI)

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