Austin speaks with Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein on October 5 to discuss regional security issues.

The leaders also discussed opportunities for further alignment between the United States and Malaysia as the two countries pursue a shared vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

Secretary Austin and Minister Hishammuddin noted the increasingly complex state of global security affairs as the conflict in Ukraine continues, as well as concerns about the potential for escalation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. Secretary Austin and Minister Hishammuddin agreed to continue close coordination in the region, and welcome ASEAN leadership on security issues.

The two leaders noted several significant milestones in U.S.-Malaysia defense cooperation, including the completion of a Defense/POW-MIA agreement in August, and committed to completing a new agreement to shape defense cooperation by the end of the year. Secretary Austin noted that the United States stands ready to expand cooperation with Malaysia in increasingly deep and meaningful ways that will protect its sovereignty and independence, including through support for development of Malaysia’s capabilities and information sharing. 

The leaders closed by underscoring the importance of maintaining the international rules and norms that preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.