Defence ministers reaffirm cooperation to tackle terrorism, human smuggling

SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and 22 visiting ministers, who are in Singapore for the 14th Shangri-La Dialogue, stressed the need for the international community to deepen cooperation to curtail the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and tackle the root causes of human smuggling.

Meeting at a luncheon hosted by Dr Ng on Saturday, the ministers recognised that a military solution alone would not address the root causes of terrorism. They also emphasised the need to stem the influx of foreign fighters to the Middle East, and discussed ways to address the threat posed by returning fighters.

On human smuggling, they shared that it was important to address the immediate needs of the migrants and a lasting solution lies in tackling the root causes of the issue, which they said would require the resolve of all parties involved.

The ministers also discussed the security situation in the Asia Pacific, particularly on the need for a peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula.

kchitra@sph.com.sg