SINGAPORE – Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen met German Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday (Feb 16) to explore new areas of defence collaboration, including in cybersecurity and the tackling of disinformation.
The two ministers’ first meeting took place on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany.
The annual three-day high-level security conference brings together more than 500 heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders, and security experts from around the world.
During the meeting, Dr Ng thanked Germany for supporting the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) continued armour training in Oberlausitz, as well as the SAF’s submarine programme and crew training in Kiel.
They also reaffirmed “warm and growing” bilateral defence relations, said Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement.
On Sunday, Dr Ng also attended a discussion over lunch with delegates and business executives at the security conference.
The Atlantic Council luncheon took place outside the security conference, and those present talked about issues ranging from the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and how to address rapid technological change.
Nato has recently been divided by issues such as Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria and United States President Donald Trump’s insistence that European countries contribute more to the defence alliance.
On Friday, Dr Ng stressed the importance of upholding freedom of navigation in relation to the dispute over the South China Sea.
He also told those at a Maritime Security Roundtable during the conference that solutions should be “diplomatic”, “de-escalatory”, and be based on trust and confidence .
China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines each claim sovereignty over some or all of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.