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PM Lee speaks with PM Scott Morrison about Australia's new trilateral partnership with US, UK

PM Lee speaks with PM Scott Morrison about Australia's new trilateral partnership with US, UK

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Photos: MCI, AFP)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has spoken with Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison about Australia's newly-established trilateral partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Sep 16).

The trilateral partnership, called AUKUS, was announced in a video meeting between Mr Morrison, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson early Thursday morning, Singapore time.

In a joint statement, the three leaders said AUKUS was part of efforts to "deepen diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region".

Mr Lee received a phone call from Mr Morrison on Thursday, said MFA, adding that Mr Morrison "briefed" Mr Lee on the new partnership.

Mr Lee noted the "longstanding bilateral and multilateral relations that Singapore shared with Australia, the UK and the US", and hoped that AUKUS would "contribute constructively to the peace and stability of the region and complement the regional architecture", said MFA.

In addition, the two leaders discussed how Australia and Singapore are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Morrison thanked Mr Lee for the dose-sharing arrangement of COVID-19 vaccines between Singapore and Australia, which concluded last month, said MFA.

The arrangement saw Singapore send 500,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Australia, with the same quantity set to be sent back to Singapore in December.

The AUKUS partnership will support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for its navy, leveraging expertise from the US and UK.

Australia is only the second country after the UK to be given access to US nuclear technology to build nuclear-powered submarines. Australia will build eight such submarines under the partnership.

AUKUS will also see the three countries further collaboration on "cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities", according to the joint statement.

Source: CNA/Agencies/dv

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