New Delhi, Jan 6: In an effort to give further impetus to India's Look East policy, Defence Minister A K Antony will travel to Malaysia from Sunday to enhance defence relation between the two country.
During the three-day visit, Antony will have bilateral discussions with his Malaysian counterpart and the Deputy Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Bin Tun Hajiabdul Razak and the Foreign Minister Ahmed Syed Hamid Albar.
Antony will also call on Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi and will pay a visit to Penang, where he would meet Governor Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas, a government release said.
Antony will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, his advisor Sundaram Krishna, Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt General ZU Shah, Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal NAK Browne, Vice Admiral KN Sushil and External Affair Ministry Joint Secretary (South) Biren Nanda.
According to unconfirmed reports, Antony is likely to take up the issue of Indian community living in that country with the Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi Government.
The Defence Co-operation between the two countries was formalised by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 1993 and it has been expanding steadily since then.
"The primary area of co-operation has been in training to Malaysian Defence personnel at various levels including at the National Defence College and Staff College. The Defence Cooperation between the two countries is also characterised by high-level exchange of visits, visit of ships of the two navies, India's regular participation in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition," the release said.
In December, the Sixth Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Meeting (MIDCOM) was held in New Delhi when both sides had meaningful discussions on strengthening defence co-operation as well as to explore new areas of co-operation. Both countries also signed a Protocol on training of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Pilots by Indian Air Force on SU-30 MKM aircraft.
In May, a MoU was signed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence for the technical training of RMAF personnel on SU-30 MKM aircraft.
Over the years, India and Malaysia have developed strong bilateral relationship encompassing political, economic, education, cultural and defence fields. (ANI)
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