Shanmugam, Kerry reaffirm warm and long-standing Singapore-US ties

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K. Shanmugam met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday.

They reviewed the broad array of close bilateral, regional and global engagements between Singapore and the United States that span the economic, political-military and socio-cultural fronts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

They reaffirmed the warm and long-standing bilateral relations, and reiterated the commitment of both countries to further strengthen the partnership and cooperation for the benefit of the Asia-Pacific region, such as through projects implemented under the US-Singapore Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).

Under the US-Singapore TCTP established last year, they discussed the launch of two signature programmes: Leadership and Governance and Trade Facilitation.

They looked forward to working together on other projects such as in the areas of sustainable development and climate change, including possibly in the Arctic region, MFA said.

Mr Kerry and Mr Shanmugam agreed that a strong and broad-based continuation of the US' engagement of Asia, including on the economic front through initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as a stable and collaborative US-China relationship, would be beneficial to the region.

They discussed that in the context of the long-standing interests shared by both governments and peoples in maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

Mr Kerry and Mr Shanmugam further underscored the importance of a strong, united and credible Asean, and in maintaining a regional architecture that would be conducive to open and free trade, and a network of both internal and external connectivity.

Both sides looked forward to an early visit by Mr Kerry to Asia including the South-east Asian region, and the continuation of the US' active participation in Asean-related meetings like the Asean-US Summit, East Asia Summit and Asean Regional Forum.

Mr Shanmugam also met with his Minister for Law US counterpart, Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday at the Department of Justice.

Both sides had a good exchange of views on their respective experiences in dealing with legal issues and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen the legal cooperation between the US and Singapore in a mutually beneficial way.

Mr Shanmugam also had meetings with members of Congress at Capitol Hill on Tuesday, including Arizona Senator John McCain and Montana Senator Max Baucus.

During his meetings with the US Senators, Mr Shanmugam reaffirmed the longstanding and excellent bilateral relations between Singapore and the US and expressed confidence in deepening cooperation between the two countries.

Following his meeting with Senator Baucus, Mr Shanmugam held a press conference regarding the ongoing investigations into the death of Mr Shane Todd in Singapore.

Mr Shanmugam expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Todd family. He stated that the Singapore Police Force was prepared to share all relevant evidence with the FBI.

In addition, the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Mr Todd's former employer, was subject to rigorous internal audits and there had been no illegal transfers of technology.

Mr Shanmugam further highlighted that a public and fully transparent Coroner's Inquiry will be held in which the Todd family could participate and pose questions.

Mr Shanmugam also met with Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman, was hosted to lunch by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, and met with key strategic thinkers from various thinks tanks and organisations including the Center for a New American Security, Brookings Institution and the Center for Security and International Studies.