Singapore, Australia reaffirm close and long-standing defence ties
SINGAPORE: Australia and Singapore on Sunday (Jun 12) reaffirmed their “close and long-standing” bilateral defence relationship, and discussed enhancing cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, said Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a statement.
This came during Australia’s Minister for Defence Richard Marles’ visit to Singapore to attend the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue. The high-level security summit, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, began on Friday and ends on Sunday.
Mr Marles, who is also Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday at the Istana, and met Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday.
“The SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) and the Australian Defence Force share a long history of military cooperation, and we are grateful for Australia’s support for the SAF’s training in Australia,” said Mr Lee in a Facebook post on Sunday.
On Sunday, Mr Marles and Dr Ng expressed continued emphasis on the joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities in Queensland, Australia.
“These facilities being developed under the 2020 Treaty on Military Training and Training Area Development will benefit both Armed Forces, through an increase in training capacity and more sophisticated training opportunities,” said MINDEF.
Aside from military cooperation, Mr Marles and Dr Ng also exchanged views on regional and international security issues of mutual interest, and reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating closely under the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements to address these challenges.
Mr Marles is in Singapore with a delegation of senior Australian officials, including Australian Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell and Secretary of the Department of Defence Greg Moriarty.
In his Facebook post, Mr Lee said that he looks forward to meeting new Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in person soon, and strengthening bilateral ties.
Mr Albanese led the Labor Party to victory in May, ending almost a decade of conservative rule in Australia.