PM attends lunch hosted by V-P Harris, meets Kerry

WASHINGTON • The United States and Asean discussed maritime security and global health yesterday 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, Ms Harris 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," she said.

"We stand with our allies and partners in defending the maritime rules-based order, which includes freedom of navigation and international law," she added, 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, she said.

The two-day Asean-US Special Summit, which ended yesterday, was a signal to the world about the strength of both sides' ties, said the US Vice-President.

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

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 today.

Charissa Yong

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2022, with the headline PM attends lunch hosted by V-P Harris, meets Kerry. Subscribe