SINGAPORE - Top defence officials from the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) member nations reaffirmed their commitment to the pact at a meeting on the sidelines of the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday (June 1).
The ministers also took stock of ongoing work to ensure that the FPDA remains relevant in the lead-up to its 50th anniversary in 2021, including in areas such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, said a Ministry of Defence statement.
A defence arrangement formed in 1971 between Australia, United Kingdom, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, the FPDA is the second oldest military partnership after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).
It was conceived as a transitional pact to provide for the defence of Singapore and Malaysia.
Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen hosted the meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel for Australia's Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, Malaysia's Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, New Zealand's Defence Minister Ron Mark, and UK's Secretary of State for Defence Penny Mordaunt.
"During the meeting, the ministers reaffirmed their nations' commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) and its importance as a constructive, transparent, and peaceful arrangement in the region," said Mindef.
The ministers noted that significant progress has been made in enhancing the interoperability among the nations' militaries through FPDA exercises such as Exercise Bersama Shield and Exercise Bersama Lima, added Mindef.
They also expressed support for efforts to continually enhance the professional value of FPDA exercises.
A meeting between the five countries had also taken place on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue last year.