Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - The government of Singapore has conferred the highest award to the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Admiral Agus Suhartono for his role in improving the relations between the defense forces of the two countries.

Agus received the "Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera)", or Distinguised Service Order (Military), award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Singapore presidential palace on Wednesday (May 9), the Channel NewsAsia was quoted as reporting.

The Singapore government believed the defence cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia had strengthened under the leadership of Agus.

He was deemed to have played an important role in initiating the new bilateral cooperation, including the ASEAN Militaries Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Table-Top Exercise conducted by the two countries in July 2011.

The TNI commander also showed his strong support for the Indonesia-Singapore Coordinated Patrol (ISCP), which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

The two countries` defence forces have also stepped up their participation in several bilateral exercises, such as in the "Latihan Elang Indopura" and "Latihan Safkar Indopura".

The award ceremony was attended by Singapore defence minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, Parliament senior secretary for defence and national development Dr Maliki Osman, Defence Forces chief Lt. Gen. Neo Kian Hong, and other high-ranking military officials from both countries.

Agus`s visit to Singapore on Wednesday (May 9) through Friday (May 11) was aimed at meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Defence Forces minister Dr Ng, and observing the headquarters of the Singapore military command.

On Thursday (May 10), Agus was also scheduled to meet with Lt. Gen. Neo Kian Hong.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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