US and Singapore reaffirm close bilateral relations

US and Singapore reaffirm close bilateral relations
Meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam at the State Department, 12 May 2014

SINGAPORE - Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on May 12, 2014.

During the meeting, they reaffirmed the close and longstanding bilateral relations between Singapore and the US that span economic, political, military, and socio-cultural fronts.

They reiterated both countries' commitment to further strengthen cooperation both bilaterally and regionally. In particular, both sides welcomed the progress made under the US-Singapore Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) over the past two years in providing training for over 280 officials from ASEAN countries in the areas of ASEAN Connectivity, sustainable development and regional resilience.

They also discussed key regional and global developments. Mr Shanmugam welcomed the strong commitment to Asia expressed by US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Malaysia, Philippines and Japan in April 2014 as well as by Mr Kerry during his past five visits to the region.

They reiterated the importance of working towards an expeditious conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Mr Shanmugam emphasised the importance of an early conclusion of the TPP and how it will create more jobs in the US. As of now, 560,000 jobs in the US are sustained by exports to ASEAN. TPP will greatly increase this number.

Both sides also welcomed efforts to strengthen ASEAN-US ties, including through US-ASEAN Energy cooperation of which Singapore is the country coordinator, and US-Asia-Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership for a Shared Future (USACEP) of which both are in the Steering Committee.

Mr Shanmugam also met with his US counterpart in his capacity as Minister for Law, Attorney General Eric Holder, at the Department of Justice.

Meeting between US Attorney General Eric Holder and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam at the Department of Justice, 12 May 2014

Both sides had a good exchange of views and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen legal cooperation between the US and Singapore in a constructive and mutually beneficial way.

In this regard, they welcomed the upcoming Law Enforcement and Homeland Security and Safety Cooperation Dialogue (LEHSSCD) that will be taking place in June 2014 in Washington DC.

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