United States Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the US’ continued commitment to strengthen and deepen its strategic partnership with ASEAN during his visit to the ASEAN Secretariat on April 20.
Pence, who met ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, described ASEAN as a “historic institution” that ensures the security of the region and acknowledged its success in promoting quality of life and prosperity of its people.
“It has been a strategic partnership and we are committed to continuing to build in that spirit,” the US Vice President said.
Trump in Asia
In highlighting the importance of ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership, Pence announced that US President Donald Trump will participate in the 5th ASEAN-US Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS) to be held in the Philippines and the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam in November 2017.
Minh underscored the longstanding and multifaceted relations between ASEAN and the US. He further highlighted the upward trajectory of the ASEAN-US 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-US Dialogue Relations, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
Minh said the US’ 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-US relations will further deepen including through the expansion of trade and investment ties.
Minh also expressed appreciation for the technical assistance provided by the US through mutually beneficial cooperation projects and programs over the years, noting that these have contributed significantly to ASEAN’s community-building efforts.
Pence is the highest ranking US 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, a key U.S. initiative in strengthening people-to-people ties among the youth in ASEAN. – ASEAN