Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has held talks with her counterparts from the Five Eyes to discuss engagement strategies in the Indo-Pacific and the need for greater collaboration to address global threats.
Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, has hosted a videoconference of defence ministers and representatives from the Five Eyes nations — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
According to Minister Reynolds, the representatives highlighted the long-standing and trusted intelligence collaboration between the partners, and reaffirmed their commitments to advance security efforts to protect shared interests and values.
Minister Reynolds revealed that the Five Eyes agreed to strengthen collaboration to address international challenges, including in the Indo-Pacific.
“Ministers discussed current and future international initiatives, and considered how the Five Eyes might increase co-operation to address shared global security challenges,” she said.
“[Ministers] concluded the meeting by sharing their respective engagement strategies in the Indo-Pacific region and identified ways to better co-ordinate efforts.”
The Five Eyes also agreed to meet regularly to discuss defence issues and “strengthen mutual support”.
The Five Eyes conference follows Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s meeting with her counterparts from the US, Japan and India for the second Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting (the Quad).
The Quad addressed emerging challenges that threaten to “undermine” the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, with Minister Payne acknowledging that the region is “becoming more complex”.
Minister Payne and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo specifically noted concerns regarding the People’s Republic of China’s “malign activity” in the Indo-Pacific.
As such, the Quad has agreed to “enhance co-operation” to promote a “strategic balance” and support “a region of resilient and sovereign states”, which engage on the basis of rules, norms and international law.