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Singapore, US reaffirm 'excellent and long-standing' defence relations amid COVID-19

Singapore, US reaffirm 'excellent and long-standing' defence relations amid COVID-19

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaking with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (on screen) during a bilateral video conference on Aug 31, 2020. (Photo: MINDEF)

SINGAPORE: Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday (Aug 31) reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to the "excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship and mutually-beneficial partnership".

During a video conference, the defence chiefs also reaffirmed the importance of the US’ continued engagement of the region, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a media release. 

They discussed a wide range of regional and geopolitical developments, including the need for regional defence establishments to work closely to address common threats such as COVID-19 and terrorism. 

Dr Ng and Mr Esper also addressed the importance of "maintaining the momentum of bilateral cooperation initiatives" amid the pandemic, said MINDEF.  

"Both countries enjoy extensive defence interactions, including dialogues, military-to-military exchanges, training and cross-attendance of courses, and defence technology cooperation," said the ministry. 

Last September, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and US President Donald Trump renewed the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding US Use of Facilities in Singapore through the Protocol of Amendment, extending the agreement for another 15 years.

In December last year, Dr Ng and Mr Esper signed an MOU concerning the establishment of a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Fighter Training Detachment in Guam. It is the RSAF's fourth such detachment on US territory and covers the deployment of F-15SG and F-16 fighter aircraft and other supporting assets to the Anderson Air Force Base for training.

Source: CNA/ad(ac)

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