Intelligence boss from 20 countries secretly met in Singapore, what’s up?

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Secret Intelligence Meeting Held in Singapore

A secret meeting between leaders and senior intelligence officials from around 20 countries took place in Singapore. The meeting was held separately from the agenda of the 20th ISS Dialog Shangri-La forum this week. According to five sources quoted by Reuters on Sunday (4/6/2023), the Singaporean government organized the meeting at a different location from the official Dialog Shangri-La forum. The meeting was also not included in the previously announced official agenda.

Involvement of USA and China

The sources stated that the United States and China, two countries currently in conflict, were invited to the meeting. The United States was represented by Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence. Samant Goel, the head of the Research and Analysis Wing, a part of India’s foreign intelligence agency, was also present. This meeting serves as an important tool in the international shadow agenda. Given the involvement of many countries, this is not a mere craft show, but rather a way to promote a deeper understanding of intentions and core issues, according to another source familiar with the meeting. There is an unspoken code among intelligence agencies that they can still communicate when formal and open diplomacy becomes more difficult. This is a crucial factor during tense times, and the events in Singapore help highlight it, they added.

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Topics Discussed

Not much is known about the discussions at the meeting, but a source mentioned that the Russia-Ukraine conflict and transnational crimes were included in the agenda. A spokesperson for the Singapore Ministry of Defense confirmed the meeting. The participants were senior officials from intelligence agencies who wanted to meet their fellow counterparts. The Singapore Ministry of Defense could facilitate several bilateral or multilateral meetings like this, the spokesperson said. However, the US Embassy in Singapore stated that they were unaware of the meeting. The governments of China and India have also not provided any comments. Meanwhile, another source mentioned that there was no representation from Russia. Volodymr V Havrylov, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine who attended the Dialog Shangri-La, was also not present at the intelligence meeting. Larger intelligence community meetings are very rare or almost never publicized.

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