JAKARTA, 20 April 2017 – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the U.S.’ continued commitment to strengthen and deepen its strategic partnership with ASEAN during his historic visit to the ASEAN Secretariat today where he met Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh.
He described ASEAN as a “historic institution” that ensures the security of the region and acknowledged its success in promoting the quality of life and the prosperity of its people.
“It has been a strategic partnership and we are committed to continuing to build in that spirit,” said Vice President Pence.
In highlighting the importance of ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership, Vice President Pence announced that the U.S. President Donald Trump will participate in the 5th ASEAN-U.S. Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS) to be held in the Philippines and the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Viet Nam in November 2017.
Secretary-General Minh underscored the longstanding and multifaceted relations between ASEAN and the U.S. He further highlighted the upward trajectory of the ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations over the past years as manifested in the elevation of the relationship to strategic level in 2015. In their discussions, both sides acknowledged the importance of this year as it marks the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
Secretary-General Minh conveyed that U.S.’ continued support for ASEAN Centrality and its participation in the key regional strategic mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus remain crucial for regional peace, security and stability. He expressed optimism that ASEAN-U.S. relations will further deepen including through the expansion of trade and investment ties. Secretary General Minh also expressed appreciation for the technical assistance provided by the U.S. through mutually beneficial cooperation projects and programmes over the years, noting that these have contributed significantly to ASEAN’s community building efforts.
Vice President Pence is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the ASEAN Secretariat. As part of this visit, the Vice President also met with the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and members of the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a key U.S. initiative in strengthening people-to-people ties among the youth in ASEAN.
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