Ng Eng Hen and James Mattis affirm Singapore-US defence ties on the sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue

ST VIDEO: CHONG ZI LIANG

SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and US Defence Secretary James Mattis discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism in South-east Asia, particularly in the Sulu Sea and the Southern Philippines, during a breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday (June 3).

They also acknowledged the importance of the US' continued presence in the Asia-Pacific in ensuring peace and stability, a statement from the Defence Ministry said.

During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and the US, the statement added.

Dr Ng and Mr Mattis also discussed a range of security issues, and areas for cooperation to foster regional stability.

They reaffirmed the significance of the 2015 enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement, which deepened bilateral cooperation in non-conventional security areas such as maritime security, cyber security and biosecurity.

 

This is Mr Mattis' first visit to South-east Asia as Defence Secretary.

He is joined by a delegation of senior US officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Commander of the US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris.

A congressional delegation, led by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Representative Mac Thornberry, is also attending the dialogue, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday.