World's spy chiefs hold secret meet In Singapore: Reuters

Ahram Online , Sunday 4 Jun 2023

High-ranking intelligence officials from several countries convened on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security meeting in Singapore this weekend, Reuters reported citing five sources.

Director of us National Intelligence Avril Haines
File photo: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, right, speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to examine worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. AP


Such meetings are organised by the Singapore government and have been discreetly held at a separate venue alongside the security summit for several years, Reuters sources said.

"The meetings have not been previously reported,” the report said.

High-ranking intelligence officials from the U.S. and China were, among other representatives, present at the meeting despite soaring tensions between the two superpowers.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines -- the head of her country's intelligence community -- attended the meeting, Reuters reported.

According to the report, "no Russian representative was present".

"The meeting is an important fixture on the international shadow agenda. Given the range of countries involved, it is not a festival of tradecraft, but rather a way of promoting a deeper understanding of intentions and bottom lines,” the report said, quoting one person with knowledge of the discussions.

"There is an unspoken code among intelligence services that they can talk when more formal and open diplomacy is harder - it is a very important factor during times of tension, and the Singapore event helps promote that,” it mentioned.

All five sources who discussed the meetings declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, Reuters revealed, adding that the meetings have not been previously reported.


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