Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met Australian Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne in Sydney, Australia, during the 11th meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) this morning.
During the meeting, Dr Ng and Mr Pyne reaffirmed the close and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and Australia, and the deepening defence cooperation under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both Ministers also welcomed the steady progress made in the joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities in Queensland, with construction commencing later this year. The construction of new facilities, such as Instrument Combined Arms Air-Land Ranges and Urban Operations Live Firing Facilities, will benefit both the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Both sides also agreed to elevate the Memorandum of Understanding on Military Training and Training Area Development in Australia to treaty status as a priority in 2019.
In addition, both Ministers discussed regional and international security issues of mutual concern to both countries, including the need to enhance regional counter-terrorism cooperation. They reaffirmed the close cooperation between both countries on the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements, as well as in the joint deployments to the Middle East as part of the Defeat-ISIS coalition.
Dr Ng and Mr Pyne agreed to further enhance the strong relationship between the SAF and the ADF. Both armed forces share a long history of military cooperation, with extensive interactions including bilateral and multilateral exercises, professional exchanges, cross attendance of courses, and joint operational deployments.
The 11th meeting of the SAJMC was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, and their respective Australian counterparts.