PM Lee meets Kamala Harris, John Kerry in Washington during US-Asean Special Summit

US Vice-President Kamala Harris hosted a working lunch with leaders of ASEAN member states on May 13, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

WASHINGTON - The United States and Asean discussed maritime security and global health on Friday (May 13) during a working lunch hosted by US Vice-President Kamala Harris at the State Department in Washington.

South-east Asia is a priority for the Biden administration, and Asean and the US have many priorities in common, she said.

"The United States and Asean have shared a vision for this region, and together we will guard against threats to international rules and norms," Ms Harris said.

"We stand with our allies and partners in defending the maritime rules based order, which includes freedom of navigation and international law," she said, highlighting the US$60 million (S$84 million) in regional maritime programmes announced by the White House on Thursday.

The US will also work together with Asean to provide vaccines, testing and other therapeutics for the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to prepare for future pandemics, Ms Harris added.

She said that the two-day Asean-US Special Summit, which ended on Friday, was a signal to the world about the strength of their ties.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who attended the summit, met US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on Friday. They discussed ways for Singapore and the US to strengthen cooperation in advancing global and regional decarbonisation efforts.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

They look forward to working closely to advance both countries' shared energy interests and deepen low-carbon energy collaborations within Asean, said PM Lee's press secretary Chang Li Lin.

PM Lee leaves Washington on Saturday.

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