France's Director-General for International Relations and Strategy Ms Alice Guitton, who is visiting Singapore from 31 January to 2 February 2019, co-chaired the 18th Singapore-France Defence Policy Dialogue (DPD) with Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Yeng Kit at the Ministry of Defence today. The DPD is a forum where both countries exchange views on strategic issues of mutual interest and discuss ways to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation.
During the DPD, Ms Guitton and Mr Chan reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to collaborate in various areas, including cybersecurity, counter-terrorism, defence technology and military-to-military exchanges. They also exchanged views on both countries' geopolitical preoccupations and strategic outlooks. As part of her visit, Ms Guitton called on Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen this afternoon. She also visited Sembawang Air Base where she received a brief on the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and took a familiarisation flight on board an RSAF Super Puma helicopter.
Ms Guitton's visit underscores the strong and broad-based defence relationship between Singapore and France. Both defence establishments have regular high-level interactions, professional exchanges, joint military exercises and cross attendance of courses. The RSAF has also conducted their Advanced Jet Training in Cazaux, France since 1998. In addition, Singapore and France have a range of bilateral defence technology interactions and exchanges, including the Singapore and France Advanced Research Initiative meetings. These wide-ranging interactions have strengthened the friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.