India, Brunei to boost defence, health and sports ties

Bandar Seri Begawan, Feb. 2 (ANI): India and Brunei on Tuesday agreed to enhance bilateral defence cooperation between the two nations by conducting joint military exercises.

Both countries signed three agreements after Vice President Hamid Ansari held talks with the top leadership of Brunei.

Besides defence, agreements were inked in the fields of health and youth and sports affairs.

Bilateral cooperation in the defence sector already exists in the form of naval ship visits, training of senior military officers in staff colleges and exchange of experience. The framework agreement seeks to institutionalise this cooperation.

Both countries agreed to an exchange of visits at different levels; exchange of experience, information, training and trainers; conduct of joint military exercises, seminars and discussions; and cooperation between the defence industries.

The agreement on health cooperation aims to establish cooperation by means of pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources and to upgrade the healthcare, medical education, research between the two countries.

The areas identified for bilateral cooperation under the agreement are exchange of doctors, other professionals and experts; exchange of information on health; medical and health research development; regulations of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics and to promote business development in these areas; and health promotion and disease prevention.

In the field of youth and sports affairs, the agreement provides a framework for exchanges of sports persons and sports teams; facilitate the exchange of expertise in coaching, sports talent identification, sports management and administration and exchange of information in the field of youth affairs.

Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs was the signatory on India’s behalf in Brunei, while Datin Paduka Hajah Suriyah binti Haji Umar, Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Defence), Yang Mulia Haji Zakaria bin Haji Serudin, Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Health) and Dato Paduka Dr Haji Affendy bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports) represented Brunei during the formal signing ceremony. (ANI)

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