KUALA LUMPUR: The Aukus pact involving Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States will go on, says Defence Ministers from two of the three partner nations.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton (pic) said Aukus was not a defence alliance or a security pact.
"The pact is aimed at improving Australia's defence capabilities and will compliment its partnership in the region, including the Five Power Defence Agreements (FPDA)," he added.
Dutton said that Australia had no intention of interfering with the operations of other nations.
"We will continue to maintain close ties to ensure the region remains peaceful and secure," he told a virtual press conference after the 11th FPDA Defence Ministers' Meeting (FDMM) on Thursday (Oct 21).
Similarly, Britain's Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said Aukus has been over-hyped.
"The UK and the United States have been sharing technologies for decades and Australia's decision to join was merely to develop its own submarine capabilities.
"It doesn't in any way reflect any reduction in our friendship with our allies," he said.
Heappey added that Aukus does not "represent a challenge in your part of the world" in any way.
Recently, Malaysia had expressed concerns that Aukus could spark a nuclear arms race in the Indo-Pacific region and provoke aggressive action by other powers in the South China Sea.
Aukus is a trilateral security agreement announced on Sept 15 for the Indo-Pacific region.
Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia acquire nuclear- powered submarines.