SINGAPORE: Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen met United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tuesday (Oct 24) and reaffirmed the "excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship" between the two countries, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a press release on Tuesday (Oct 24).
This comes a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met US President Donald Trump at the White House, where Mr Lee said Singapore will extend to 2018 its support to the US-led coalition against Islamic State to strengthen security cooperation.
Dr Ng met Mr Mattis on the sidelines of the 11th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 4th ADMM-Plus in Clark, Philippines, where they discussed ways to address the threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia.
Dr Ng reaffirmed Singapore's commitment to continue to contribute a KC-135R tanker aircraft, an Imagery Analysis Team, and a medical team to facilitate the anti-IS coalition in the Middle East for "2018 and beyond", MINDEF said.
With the US' offer to support regional counter-terrorism efforts at the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers' informal meeting on Monday, Dr Ng pledged that Singapore will help facilitate these initiatives when the country assumes the ASEAN chairmanship next year.
Since the conclusion of the 2015 enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement, Singapore and the US have continued to deepen interactions and exchanges, ranging from military exercises to cooperation in non-conventional security areas such as counter-terrorism and cyberdefence, the ministry said.