World’s top intelligence agencies hold secret meeting in Singapore

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Senior officials from two dozen major intelligence agencies gathered in Singapore for a secret conclave during the Shangri-La Dialogue security meeting this weekend. The meeting, which has been discreetly held alongside the security summit for years, had not been previously reported.

Representatives from two dozen countries, including the US, China, and India, attended the meeting, despite ongoing tensions between the former two. Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, represented the US, while Samangt Goel, the head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, represented their country.

These meetings serve as a means for intelligence agencies to communicate when traditional diplomacy becomes challenging, particularly during times of tension. Officials from the Singapore government revealed that the Singapore Ministry of Defense facilitates these beneficial bilateral or multilateral meetings.

While meetings of intelligence agencies are rare and rarely publicized, the Singapore gathering stands out as the largest gathering of its kind. The Five Eyes network, comprising the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, regularly convenes its senior officials to share a wide range of information.

The details of the Singapore meeting remain unclear, but it is believed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the escalating China-US crisis were among the focal points. Notably, there was no Russian representative present, according to officials. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister attended the Shangri-La Dialogue but did not participate in the intelligence meeting.

The main security dialogue hosted over 600 delegates from 49 countries for three days of plenary sessions at the Shangri-La Hotel. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivered the keynote address, while counterparts from the US, China, Britain, Japan, Canada, Indonesia, and South Korea also addressed the gathering.

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