Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Zaqy Mohamad attended the 18th Manama Dialogue in Bahrain from 18 to 20 November 2022. Organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the annual dialogue is a key security forum for senior defence, security and foreign affairs officials from around the world to discuss security challenges in the Middle East and beyond.
While in Bahrain, Mr Zaqy attended the Manama Dialogue dinner reception hosted by Bahrain Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and lunch hosted by Bahrain Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Mr Zaqy also had bilateral engagements with the Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Advisor to His Majesty the King for Diplomatic Affairs Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, as well as Bahrain Minister of Labour and Social Development Jameel Bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan. They reaffirmed the warm bilateral and defence relations between Singapore and Bahrain.
On the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue, Mr Zaqy also met with Australia Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman, Egypt Assistant Minister of Defence for International Relations Major General Mohamed Salahedin Hasan, German Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Dr Tobias Lindner, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Secretary General of the League of Arab States Dr Ahmed Abo El Gheit, and the United States Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Dr Stacey Dixon. They exchanged views on regional and global security developments and reaffirmed our bilateral defence relations.
Mr Zaqy also spoke at the Manama Dialogue plenary session on the topic of "Security of the Global Maritime Choke Points". He highlighted the evolving landscape of maritime security threats, and how countries can work closely together to manage these emerging issues. He said, “With an increasingly fractious geopolitical landscape, multilateralism and the international rules-based order is under threat. Amidst the great power rivalry that we see around us, small states and middle powers are not without agency. We can all step up and fill in the gaps that have emerged in this more divided geopolitical environment. Multilateralism allows small- and medium-sized states to have a voice, and to secure open lines of communications and freedom of navigation."
Singapore has been attending the Manama Dialogue since its inception in 2004. The 18th Manama Dialogue was attended by more than 300 senior government officials from over 40 government delegations.