Tillerson, Vivian reaffirm 'deep and multi-faceted' bilateral ties

Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Tillerson at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday. Besides reaffirming the countries' relations, they also discussed regional developments.
Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Tillerson at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday. Besides reaffirming the countries' relations, they also discussed regional developments.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed "the deep and multi-faceted relations between Singapore and the US" in a bilateral meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

Dr Balakrishnan is in Washington to take part in the meeting of foreign ministers of the global coalition on the defeat of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) hosted by Mr Tillerson in Washington.

The two men reaffirmed the deep and multi-faceted relations between Singapore and the United States, spanning the defence, economic and security spheres, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement yesterday.

They also discussed regional developments as well as ways in which the US could build on its enduring strategic and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and strengthen its engagement of Asean.

Singapore welcomes the meeting of foreign ministers hosted by Mr Tillerson, said the MFA.

Countering terrorism and violent extremism is a key concern for Singapore and the region, given the risks posed by returning ISIS fighters as well as ISIS' radical propaganda in South-east Asia.

Singapore has consistently supported the coalition's efforts through contributions of military assets and personnel, and believes in the need for a comprehensive response that encompasses addressing economic, social and political factors.

Dr Balakrishnan will also meet Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, who is the Republican senator for Tennessee, before departing the US for Singapore today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Tillerson, Vivian reaffirm 'deep and multi-faceted' bilateral ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe