Meeting between French and Australian Defence Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Defence Minister, and his Australian counterpart Steven Smith, met during the 11th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore (01/06/2013).
Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Singapore, from 1 to 3 June 2012 for the 11th edition of the Shangri-La Dialogue. The Minister of Defence spoke on security issues and prospects for French commitment in Asia-Pacific.
The Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, went to Singapore on Friday 1 June 2012, to attend the 11th edition of Shangri-La Dialogue organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British think tank dedicated to international relations.
The Minister took part in the opening dinner where he met with Indonesian President, Susilo Yudhoyono Bangbang. He also held discussions with hus Singaporean counterpart, Mr Ng Eng Hen, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Mr Leon Panetta, Secretary of state for Defence from the United States, and the Australian Minister of Defence, Mr Stephen Smith.
On Sunday, the Minister of Defence spoke to the assembly comprising of different participants at the conference on the role that France aims to play in Asia-Pacific, as an "integral part of our security environment" are terms he used.
"Anything that enhances the security of the Asia-Pacific region contributes to a more stable world, as this region is influential in world affairs and will be more critical in the future. In this situation, South-East Asia plays a key role : its vital sea lanes, are a bridge connecting Asian nations and are a powerful link with the rest of the world" he pointed out.
He added that "prosperity of the Pacific region depends partly on the stability of the Indian Ocean. Most conflicts in Asia are now interconnected".
Then he spoke more specifically on the implication of France’s involvement in this region, the "major area of interest," as well as "definite strategic partnerships" that it has developed, specifying that the future White Paper on security and national defence will not fail "to develop this dimension of our defense strategy."
The Minister of Defence also underlined security challenges shared by countries in the region, including the fight against terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and organized crime, maritime security and cybersecurity, as well as cooperation in management of natural disasters, recalling in particular the consequences of deadly tsunamis in this region in 2004 and 2011.