US defence chief vows to reinforce security ties with ASEAN
Updated : Saturday, June 02, 2018 9:44 AM (GMT+0700)

USSecretary of Defense James Mattis has affirmed the country’s policy onstrengthening security ties with member states of the Association of SoutheastAsian Nations (ASEAN).

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis (second, left) in a group photo with ASEAN defence
ministers - Photo: VNA

On the sidelines of the 17thAsia Security Summit in Singapore, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, whichofficially opened in Singapore on June 1, Mattis and Singaporean Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong also reconfirmed the importance of US engagement in theAsia-Pacific region.

During his separate talkswith defence chiefs of the ASEAN nations, Mattis expressed readiness to promotethe "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy", which is upheld by USPresident Donald Trump's administration.

The concept is aimed atensuring stability from East Asia to Africa through cooperation with countriesthat share values such as freedom of navigation and the rule of law.

Mattis is scheduled todeliver a speech about security in the Indo-Pacific region at the Shangri-LaDialogue on June 2.

The Shangri-La Dialogue,sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, has beenorganised annually in Singapore since 2002.

Defense officials fromaround 40 countries, including the US and those in Asia and Europe, areparticipating in this year’s meeting that is scheduled to end on June 3.


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