Kerry to visit S'pore next week for talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry.
US Secretary of State John Kerry. PHOTO: AFP

United States Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Singapore next week to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

The US State Department said Mr Kerry will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Tuesday.

He will also deliver a speech on the importance of US trade and investment to prosperity in both the East Asia region and the US.

The trip will be Mr Kerry's first to Singapore since his appointment as Secretary of State in 2013. From Singapore, Mr Kerry will head to Kuala Lumpur, from Aug 4 to 6, for the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) and then to Vietnam from Aug 6 to 8.

Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore are part of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Washington hopes to finalise this year.

At the ARF, Mr Kerry will participate in meetings of the Lower Mekong Initiative, US-Asean, East Asia Summit and Asean Regional Forum ministers.

In Hanoi, Mr Kerry will meet senior Vietnamese officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, to discuss bilateral and regional issues. He will also participate in an event marking the 20th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

Mr Kerry will arrive in South-east Asia from Cairo, where he will co-chair the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday.

The bilateral dialogue "reaffirms the United States' long-standing and enduring partnership with Egypt", State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Mr Kerry will travel to Qatar on Monday to meet the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where talks will focus on the Iran nuclear deal, the war in Syria and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Kerry to visit S'pore next week for talks'. Print Edition | Subscribe