SINGAPORE: New Zealand will continue to evaluate the proposal for Singapore's F-15 jets to train at Ohakea Air Force Base, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement on Tuesday (Mar 13).
The update followed the second annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers' Meeting in Auckland between Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and his New Zealand counterpart Ron Mark.
During the meeting, the pair conducted in depth discussions on the regional security architecture and security issues. They also affirmed their ongoing commitment to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) framework and Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).
The pair also completed the review of the bilateral defence relationship framework and agreed for further cooperation between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
"On behalf of Singapore, Dr Ng expressed his gratitude for SAF training opportunities in NZ and for the NZDF to train together. Mr Mark noted that Singapore is New Zealand’s closest defence partner in Southeast Asia, and the history of collaboration between the SAF and NZDF demonstrated the warmth, strength and maturity of the relationship," MINDEF said.
They also acknowledged the longstanding collaboration between the two countries on overseas peace-support missions, including in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and most recently in Iraq as part of the Defeat-ISIS coalition.
Dr Ng expressed support for New Zealand’s co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Cybersecurity with the Philippines while Mr Mark expressed New Zealand’s support for Singapore’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2018, MINDEF said.
Mr Mark added that he was looking forward to attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June.