Ong Ye Kung meets Australian leaders, reaffirms bilateral ties

Mr Ong Ye Kung with Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday. He also visited the Australian War Memorial and laid a wreath in honour of Australian soldiers who sacrificed their lives, including during the defence of Singapore in World Wa
Mr Ong Ye Kung with Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday. He also visited the Australian War Memorial and laid a wreath in honour of Australian soldiers who sacrificed their lives, including during the defence of Singapore in World War II.PHOTO: MINDEF

Singapore's Second Minister for Defence, Mr Ong Ye Kung, who is on a visit to Australia, has met its foreign and defence ministers.

During the meetings, the leaders reaffirmed the excellent relations between both countries, and discussed a wide range of geopolitical and security issues.

Mr Ong met Australia's Foreign Minister, Ms Julie Bishop, in Canberra on Tuesday.

While in the capital, Mr Ong also visited the Australian War Memorial, where he laid a wreath in honour of Australian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in battle, including during the defence of Singapore in World War II.

The minister also paid a visit to the Australian National University, where he met its deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington. They discussed strategies for innovation in higher education.

Later, Mr Ong attended a dinner in Sydney hosted by Australia's Defence Minister, Ms Marise Payne.

"Mr Ong and Ms Payne reaffirmed the close and longstanding bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Australia, and discussed regional and global security issues of mutual interest," Singapore's Ministry of Defence said yesterday in a statement.

Yesterday, Mr Ong had a video teleconference with Australia's Minister for Education and Training, Mr Simon Birmingham.

Mr Ong also visited the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's digital and data innovation group Data61.

He also met Mr Anthony Albanese, Australia's shadow minister for infrastructure, transport, cities and regional development and tourism, as well as University of New South Wales chancellor and chairman of ANZ Bank David Gonski.

Before arriving in Canberra and Sydney, Mr Ong visited Singapore troops taking part in Exercise Wallaby 2017 at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland.

Mr Ong is on a six-day visit to Australia at the invitation of Ms Bishop. He is scheduled to depart today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline 'Ong Ye Kung meets Australian leaders, reaffirms bilateral ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe