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Singapore's PM talks trade, regional security in Australian parliament

by October 12, 2016 General

CANBERRA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) — Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday hailed the relationship between his nation and Australia.

In an address to the Australian parliament in Canberra, Lee took the opportunity to reflect on the friendship between the two nations.

He said both governments share similar values on issues such as terrorism and de-radicalization, and said both nations had closely-aligned “strategic priorities.”

“(Australian and Singaporean) security agencies work closely and quietly together to fight terrorism, sharing intelligence and information, carrying out counter-terrorism operations, exchanging notes on religious rehabilitation and de-radicalization programs,” Lee told the parliament.

Earlier this year, both governments signed an agreement for 14,000 Singaporean troops to train in Australia – a deal worth more than 1.7 billion U.S dollars, while a free trade agreement between the nations was also revised and refreshed last year.

Lee concluded his address by saying he “looks forward to Singapore and Australia working together to deepen and to strengthen (the relationship).”

Following the speech, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed Lee’s commitment to further strengthening the security ties between Australia and Southeast Asia; Turnbull said both Singapore and Australia have very “similar worldviews” which will assist the fight against terror organizations such as IS in the future.

The Singapore’s prime minister is in Canberra on a three-day tour to sign trade and defence deals. Enditem