LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 4pm

Malaysia, Australia Enhance Cooperation In Combating Terrorism Activities In The Region

Mohamad Sabu and Australian Minister for Defence Marise PayneMohamad Sabu and Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne

BUTTERWORTH -- Minister of Defence Mohamad Sabu and Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne today have convened the inaugural Malaysia-Australia High Level Committee on Defence Cooperation (HLC) meeting at Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Base in Butterworth, here.

The ministers held the closed-door meeting that lasted about one-hour.

In a joint statement issued by Malaysia-Australia HLC, both ministers were updated on the progress of the cooperation under Malaysia-Australia Joint Defence Program which affirmed the importance of working together to strengthen the bilateral defence relationship and meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving regional security environment.

They also reiterated the commitment to work together, bilaterally and multilaterally, to enhance defence cooperation to counter terrorism and identify ways to strengthen counter terrorism cooperation.

"Both ministers agreed that the threat of terrorism is a key regional concern for both nations, including the return of foreign terrorist fighters from overseas conflicts.

"They unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expressed their condolences to the victims of terrorism across the region," it said.

According to the statement, the ministers also affirmed their commitment to the Five Power Defence Agreement (FPDA) as an integral part of the region's security architecture.

Mohamad and Payne noted that the 10th FPDA Defence Ministers' Meeting agreed to continually strengthen counter terrorism activities and enhance the operational value of the exercises including incorporating newer capabilities for the mutual benefit of all member-nations.

The inaugural HLC occurred during the 60th anniversary celebration of Australia's presence at the RMAF Butterworh Airbase.

Meanwhile, after the meeting, Mohamad and Payne planted a tree in conjunction with the 60th anniversary celebration at Wisma Perwira RMAF Butterworth Airbase.

Payne was then taken to Headquarters Integrated Area Defence System (HQIADS) and the 18th Squadron RMAF as well as having a photo session with the personnel.