US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin (Photo: AFP/VNA)

This is Austin's first visit to Singapore as Secretary of Defense.

During their talks, the officials reaffirmed both countries’ long-standing and multi-faceted bilateral defense relationship.

The sides expressed a satisfaction that military cooperation continued to be strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They also exchanged views on geopolitical developments and regional security issues, and agreed on the importance of the US' continued engagement in the region, according to a joint statement

Both recognised the positive trajectory of bilateral defence relations that has expanded into new areas of cooperation such as cyber defence, exchange of strategic information, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

They also agreed to continue seeking ways to expand the role of the US-Singapore partnership in maintaining regional stability, such as through increased exchanges and training opportunities for the region's young defence leaders.

Austin is also scheduled to meet Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong on July 27./.

CPV (Source: VNA)