Australia and Singapore agreed Monday that the United States should not abrogate the ANZUS defense treaty even if New Zealand goes ahead with anti-nuclear legislation.
Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke said that ANZUS was one of the main topics during his discussions with visiting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
ANZUS, grouping the United States, Australia and New Zealand, faced collapse after Wellington banned U.S. nuclear warships from its ports and said it would pass legislation to formalize the ban.
"Our position is: If New Zealand goes ahead with the legislation and the United States takes the view that the treaty is no longer operative . . . they should not seek to abrogate it. It should be left in existence," Hawke said.
The provisions of the treaty thus should remain operative between Australia and the United States, he said, adding: "And that view was appreciated and accepted by Lee."