Sydney (VNA) – Singapore and New Zealand have pledged to continue their military cooperation and to expand it to new areas.

The pledge was made in a joint statement issued by New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and his Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen after observing Exercise Thunder Warrior, an artillery live-fire exercise at the Waiouru Training Area of New Zealand.

The joint statement also said that the two countries remained committed to the relationship and looked forward to further opportunities to strengthen defence cooperation.

The ministers agreed to initiate an annual formal ministerial meeting to discuss issues of mutual concern.

Brownlee affirmed New Zealand's continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus framework.

The FPDA was signed by the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore in 1971.-VNA