US Defence Secretary calls on PM Lee ahead of Shangri-La Dialogue

US General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday. Gen Dunford was also awarded Singapore's highest military honour by President Tony T
US General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday. Gen Dunford was also awarded Singapore's highest military honour by President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

United States Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana yesterday.

With him was US General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was earlier conferred Singapore's highest military award for his contributions in enhancing relations between the militaries of the two countries.

Mr Mattis and Gen Dunford are in town for the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Mr Mattis told reporters he will talk about the "international order" needed for a peaceful Asia today, and stress that the US stands with its Asia-Pacific allies and partners.

Gen Dunford was awarded the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) - Distinguished Service Order (Military) - by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said that under Gen Dunford's leadership, both militaries have made significant strides in deepening ties.

 

They work together in multinational efforts and non-conventional security, and these have enhanced interoperability, mutual understanding and personal friendship between both armed forces.

Separately, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen met Lieutenant-General He Lei, vice-president of the People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences, who heads China's delegation to the Shangri- La Dialogue, Mindef said.

Dr Ng and Lt-Gen He reaffirmed the warm and friendly bilateral defence relationship, which has progressed steadily over the years.

They agreed to strengthen defence cooperation and noted the importance of China's involvement in the regional security architecture.

 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2017, with the headline 'US Defence Secretary calls on PM Lee ahead of Shangri-La Dialogue'. Print Edition | Subscribe