Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen discusses ways to strengthen defence cooperation with Australian counterpart

(From left) Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Australia's Defence Minister Marise Payne, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and specia
(From left) Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Australia's Defence Minister Marise Payne, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and special envoy Andrew Robb on March 18, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, in his meeting with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne in Sydney on Friday (March 18), discussed ways to strengthen defence cooperation under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, according to Singapore's Ministry of Defence.

In a press statement released by Mindef on Friday, it said Dr Ng and Ms Payne, who met during the ninth meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC), also exchanged view on regional and international security issues.

The ministers also pledged to boost the strong ties between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force, nothing the long history of cooperation, including bilateral and multilateral exericises, between the militaries.

At an earlier meeting in Sydney in November last year, Dr Ng and Ms Payne discussed the cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Both sides on Friday thus welcomed the conducting of an Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism Exercise in 2016, said Mindef.

They also reaffirmed the value of the Five Power Defence Arrangements as a useful component of the regional security architecture, the statement said.

The SAJMC was also attended by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang and their respective Australian counterparts.