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Singapore welcomes Australia’s assurance that AUKUS will promote 'stable and secure' Asia Pacific: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Singapore welcomes Australia’s assurance that its recent defence pact with the United States and the United Kingdom will meet a number of criteria including the promotion of a “stable and secure” Asia Pacific region, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Oct 27).

Speaking at the 1st ASEAN-Australia Summit, Mr Lee touched on AUKUS, a trilateral agreement between the three countries, and noted that ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and Australia share similar strategic regional outlooks. 

“Singapore welcomes new regional architecture formulations that support ASEAN centrality, deepen economic integration, and promote a stable and secure Asia-Pacific region and a rules-based order, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Mr Lee said at the virtual meeting.

“We welcome Australia’s assurance that its AUKUS partnership with the US and UK will be consistent with these criteria.”

Mr Lee noted that the ASEAN-Australia relationship is “broad and multifaceted”, and spans across all three ASEAN community pillars. 

"We appreciate Australia’s active participation in the ASEAN for Singapore agrees in-principle with Australia’s proposal to upgrade relations with ASEAN to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), and encourages our officials to continue their discussions,” he said.

“We also welcome Australia’s announcement of its contribution to ASEAN through the Australia for ASEAN Futures initiative.”

ASEAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH JAPAN

Speaking at the 24th ASEAN-Japan Summit earlier in the morning, Mr Lee noted that ASEAN and Japan have come a long way since dialogue relations were established in 1973. 

“We have built a strong foundation of trust, mutual respect, and friendship,” he explained. 

“There is wide-ranging cooperation spanning counterterrorism, cyber security, maritime security, public health, climate change, infrastructure and smart cities.”

At the same time, there is a need to continue expanding ASEAN-Japan cooperation, Mr Lee said.

“We welcome the second iteration of the ASEAN-Japan Climate Change Action Agenda, which will strengthen the region’s capabilities to address climate change, help decarbonise ASEAN, and implement nature-based solutions,” he added.

“I thank Japan for the projects it has initiated thus far and look forward to working together on more practical projects in the future.”

Source: CNA/mt

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