Singapore, US reaffirm 'deep and multi-faceted' ties as Vivian Balakrishnan meets Rex Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shake hands at the State Department in Washington, DC, on March 22.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shake hands at the State Department in Washington, DC, on March 22.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs 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 on Wednesday (March 22).

Dr Balakrishnan is in Washington to take part in a meeting of foreign ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), which is hosted by Secretary 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 on Thursday.

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 Secretary Tillerson, said 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 Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, Republican Senator for Tennessee, before departing the US for Singapore on Friday.