Shanmugam visits Washington DC from Tuesday, meeting John Kerry and others

Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam, will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry for discussions on key bilateral and regional issues during a visit to Washington DC kicking off on Tuesday.

The trip comes at a time when the United States is in the midst of carrying out a strategic "pivot" towards a rising Asia.

Also in the backdrop is a new Pacific-wide free trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently being negotiated between 11 nations including Singapore and the US.

Mr Shanmugam previously met Mr Kerry last year, when he was the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In the course of his four-day visit, Mr Shanmugam is also slated to meet his Law counterpart, Attorney General Eric Holder, senior aides of President Barack Obama, several influential Congressmen, strategic thinkers and journalists, according to a statement released by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Singapore and the US enjoy "deep and long-standing relations", the MFA said, and the discussions in Washington will yield ways to elevate the cooperation.

This will include joint projects in areas like public health and sustainable urban planning in the region, through the Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme.