Singapore, Australia reaffirm close bilateral relations

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SINGAPORE: Singapore and Australia have reaffirmed their “close and long-standing” bilateral relations during a visit by Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung.

Mr Ong is in Australia from Oct 7 to 12 at the invitation of Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

The two met in Canberra on Tuesday (Oct 10) and discussed a “wide range of geopolitical and security issues”, said Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a news release.

In Canberra, Mr Ong visited the Australian War Memorial where he laid a wreath in honour of Australian soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in war, including during the defence of Singapore in World War II.

Mr Ong and his wife, Mrs Diana Ong, observing a moment of silence after laying a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in honour of Australian soldiers who had lost their lives in war, including during the defence of Singapore in World War II. (Photo: MINDEF)

He also visited the Australian National University (ANU) and met Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, ANU’s deputy vice-chancellor, to discuss strategies for innovation in higher education.

Mr Ong then went to Sydney where he was hosted to dinner by Australia’s Minister for Defence Marise Payne, during which they discussed regional and global security issues.

On Wednesday, Mr Ong had a video teleconference with Australia’s Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

He also visited the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s digital and data innovation group Data61, and met with Australia’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Tourism Anthony Albanese, as well as the University of New South Wales’ chancellor and chairman of ANZ Bank David Gonski.

Before arriving in Canberra and Sydney, Mr Ong visited Singapore’s Exercise Wallaby 2017 at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia.

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