Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence
I met Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean in Canberra today, Monday 22 November.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo is visiting Australia from Friday 19 November to Tuesday 23 November.
This is my second meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Teo since my appointment as Minister for Defence. We previously met during the ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers’ Meeting, held last month in Hanoi.
During our meeting today we discussed the close cooperation between Australia and Singapore on a range of shared strategic and defence interests, including our cooperation in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, and our security cooperation in Asia-Pacific region.
I discussed the outcomes of the NATO/ ISAF Summit in Lisbon over the weekend.
Singapore and Australia have a close defence partnership based on shared history, common strategic interests and practical cooperation between our defence forces.
The Five Powers Defence Arrangements, which Australia and Singapore share with Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, will mark its 40th anniversary in 2011.
Australia and Singapore continue to work together to strengthen the region’s peace and security architecture through cooperation in forums like the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
During his visit, Deputy Prime Minister Teo will also meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
Since 1995, Australia and Singapore have had an agreement on the use of Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton in Queensland, for annual Singapore Armed Forces exercises. On Friday 19 November, Deputy Prime Minister Teo observed these exercises.
I look forward to seeing Deputy Prime Minister Teo in Australia again in 2011, when Australia hosts the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission, the biennial meeting of Foreign, Defence and Trade Ministers from both our countries.
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