Singapore, Malaysia reaffirm defence ties hinh anh 1Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaks in a press conference on May 29, 2019. (Photo: APF/VNA)
Singapore (VNA) - Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob held online talks on April 27 during which they reaffirmed defence ties and their support for the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), which mark their 50th anniversary this year.

In a statement, the Singaporean Ministry of Defence said the two ministers reaffirmed their commitment to maintain and strengthen bilateral ties between the  armed forces of the two countries.

"Both militaries will work towards the resumption of bilateral and multilateral engagements and exercises when the COVID-19 situation improves," it said.

The ministers also discussed common security challenges, especially terrorism, cyber security and maritime security.

They talked about dealing with these transnational threats by cooperating with other countries in regional multilateral platforms, such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM , which involve 10 ASEAN states and eight dialogue partners.

The ministry also noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to preclude the conduct of a full-scale Exercise Bersama Lima involving the FPDA countries, a scaled down version would still be conducted this year to signal the strong commitment of all five countries to this security arrangement.

Besides Singapore and Malaysia, the FPDA also includes Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The last Exercise Bersama Lima was held in October 2019. It was hosted by Malaysia and involved about 3,000 troops from the five FPDA countries.

During the virtual meeting, Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also invited Ismail Sabri to attend the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in June./.