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Cablegate: Singapore Inks Defense Cooperation Agreement With

VZCZCXRO2177
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGP #0926 2660942
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230942Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7240
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SINGAPORE 000926

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EAP/MTS - M. COPPOLA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SN
SUBJECT: SINGAPORE INKS DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH
VIETNAM

1. (U) Singapore and Vietnam signed a Defence Cooperation
Agreement (DCA) during a September 7-10 visit to Vietnam by
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Teo
Chee Hean. The DCA will formalize existing mil-mil
interactions, which have focused mainly on exchanges and
study visits, and will promote new cooperation in the areas
of military medicine and personnel education and training.
Singapore has DCAs with a number of countries in addition to
Vietnam, including Australia, China, India and New Zealand.
While in Vietnam, DPM Teo met with Vietnam's Prime Minister
Nguyen Tan Dung, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai,
Minister of Defence Phung Quang Thanh and Commission of
Inspection Chairman Nguyen Van Chi.

2. (SBU) MFA Southeast Asia Deputy Director Peter Tan told EP
Counselor that Singapore regards Vietnam as an increasingly
important partner in the region. Good news consistently
flows from Vietnam, Tan added. Singapore has only recently
begun to intensify political and military links with Vietnam,
building on successful economic ties, Tan said.

3. (SBU) Comment: Singapore's decision to deepen engagement
with Vietnam fits with Singapore's posture of reaching out
and engaging regional powers with the hope that such
interactions could lessen the possibility of conflict and
increase economic opportunities. Singapore also openly
strives to ensure a balance of power in the region, and has
sought increased cooperation with not only Vietnam, but also
China, India, Indonesia and the United States.

Visit Embassy Singapore's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/singapore/ind ex.cfm
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