PUTRAJAYA: Australia will send its officials to Malaysia to provide further clarification and understanding on the security partnership involving the country, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as Aukus, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the matter was agreed upon recently during a telephone conversation with his Australian counterpart, Senator Marise Payne.
Saifuddin also called for all parties within the Indo-Pacific region and beyond to strengthen further cooperation in promoting and sustaining the region as one of peace, stability, growth and prosperity, as espoused in the Asean Outlook on Indo-Pacific.
He said he shared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s concerns that the establishment of Aukus could lead to the escalation of an arms race in the region.
“It could also potentially spark tension among the world superpowers, and aggravate aggression between them in the region, particularly in the South China Sea,” he said in a statement yesterday.
On Sept 15, the US, UK and Australia unveiled the new security trilateral partnership arrangement Aukus, where Australia will be equipped with a fleet of advanced nuclear-powered submarines, among other items.
Saifuddin also reaffirmed the Prime Minister’s assertion for all concerned parties to respect and comply with Malaysia’s existing national regime under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Asean’s South-East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, and Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Treaty. — Bernama