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Strategic trust necessary to Asia's security: Ng Eng Hen

Strategic trust is necessary to ensure Asia's security amid rapid and deep changes, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen made the point at the Munich Young Leaders Round Table on Sunday.

MUNICH: Strategic trust is necessary to ensure Asia's security amid rapid and deep changes, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Sunday.

He said Asia's wealth and independence have led to the rapid modernisation of militaries in the Asia-Pacific, and to ensure security, three elements are needed: engagement, dialogue and political will.

Dr Ng said: "These three elements form the basis for an inclusive and robust regional security architecture."

He was addressing young leaders on the sidelines of the 50th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on the topic of "Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific: Perils and Prospects".

The conference was attended by young leaders from governments, think tanks and the private sector in the US, Europe, Middle-East and selected Asia-Pacific countries.

Dr Ng said: "The onus is on leaders of the world today and young leaders, like yourselves, of the world tomorrow, to reap the fruits of the hard-fought peace and stability in the wake of two world wars, and to keep us on the path of global development and growth."

A ministry statement described the event, held from January 31 to February 2, as an annual high-level security conference that brings together foreign affairs and defence leaders and officials from around the world.

It also said Dr Ng held bilateral meetings with a number of leaders on the sidelines of the conference -- they included Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro and UK Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond.

Dr Ng also attended a luncheon hosted by German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

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