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India, Singapore strengthen bilateral cooperation

Published By United Press International
NEW DELHI, July 12 (UPI Asia) -- India and Singapore have signed three agreements strengthening bilateral cooperation in defense and vocational education sectors, news reports said Thursday.

The agreements were signed Wednesday after official talks between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is on a state visit to India, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The signed agreements include one on continuing the training provided to Singapore armed forces by India. India is currently training Singaporean air force personnel at the Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal.

"Prime Minister Lee and I have decided to step up bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the fields of defense and security. To this end, we have just signed a memorandum of understanding to renew the bilateral arrangement between our air forces on joint training and exercises," Manmohan Singh said in a statement.

"Singapore is a close friend and valued regional partner for India. Our relations are underpinned by a confluence of interests spanning political, economic, cultural, defense and security issues," Singh added.

The two countries also signed two Memorandums of Understanding on vocational skills development and technical education.

Singapore is one of India largest trading partners in Southeast Asia and a major source of foreign direct investment inflows into the south Asian country. The two countries are also signatories to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement finalized in 2005.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa