Jean-Yves Le Drian in Singapore for the 11th Shangri-la Dialogue : 1 - 3 June 2012
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.
During his visit to Singapore, the Minister for Defence held a discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore - Pellégrino/ECPAD
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.
Upon his arrival, Jean-Yves Le Drian took part in the opening dinner where he met with Indonesian President, Susilo Yudhoyono Bangbang.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister ofDefence, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of state for Defence from the United States - Roland Pellegrino/ECPAD
Then he attended meetings with representatives from the Singaporean government, including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with his counterparts from Australia, India and Korea, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of State for Defence from the United States.
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 regiondepends 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.
Jean-Yves Le Drian said he supported the "institutionalization of a policy of regional cooperation architecture such as ASEAN" (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in which ten Asian states are joined in a political, economic and cultural organization), which can surpass the "bilateral efforts already taken."
The "Shangri-La Dialogue" is an international annual event which brings together Defense Ministers from the Asia-Pacific region, similar to the "Manama Dialogue" in Bahrain, which is organized by the IISS, to bring together Defense Ministers of the Persian-Gulf region.