Singapore, Australia leaders reaffirm close, longstanding defence ties

PM Lee Hsien Loong (right) meets Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles at the Istana, on June 10, 2022. PHOTO: LEE HSIEN LOONG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore and Australia reaffirmed their close, long-standing defence relationship and discussed enhancing cooperation over the weekend.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met visiting Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles, who was attending the Shangri-La Dialogue, at the Istana on Friday (June 10).

Singapore and Australia enjoy a longstanding friendship, underpinned by their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, PM Lee said in a Facebook post on Sunday (June 12).

"The SAF and the Australian Defence Force share a long history of military cooperation, and we are grateful for Australia's support for the SAF's training in Australia," he added, saying he looked forward to meeting Australia's new PM Anthony Albanese in person soon.

Mr Marles also met Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence said both sides expressed continued emphasis on the joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities in Queensland, Australia.

These facilities being developed under the 2020 Treaty on Military Training and Training Area Development will benefit both Armed Forces, through an increase in training capacity and more sophisticated training opportunities, it added.

The ministers also exchanged views on regional and international security issues of mutual interest, and reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating closely under the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements to address these challenges, Mindef said.

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