New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony will embark on an official visit to Singapore, Australia and Thailand June 3 to discuss India’s bilateral defence cooperation with the three countries, an official release said Thursday.
Antony will first visit Singapore and meet his counterpart Ng Eng Hen Monday.
The two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral co-operation and issues of regional and global security. The Singaporean defence minister visited India in November last year.
Antony’s visit to Australia will be the first by an Indian defence minister.
He will be received by the Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith at Perth where the two ministers will attend a few ceremonial events before proceeding to Canberra.
In Canberra, Antony will hold detailed bilateral discussions with Smith.
The release said Antony is also expected to call on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Both sides would discuss 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 his counterpart. His visit to Thailand shall come shortly after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s on-going visit to the country.
Manmohan Singh is in Thailand on a two-day official visit to the country.
Antony will be meeting his counterpart Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat in Thailand. He is also expected to call on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The release said the two sides are expected to review the on-going exchanges between the armed forces including possible enhancement of the army and navy exercises and joint patrols along the common maritime boundary between both the countries.
Antony will return to India June 6.