Shanmugam, Kerry reaffirm bilateral ties

The foreign ministers of Singapore and the United States have called for swifter progress in crafting a code of conduct in the South China Sea, and for territorial disputes between China and several South-east Asian countries to be resolved peacefully.

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Here is the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam, accompanied by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of National Development Lee Yi Shyan, met with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on May 13.

Both sides welcomed the robust and expanding bilateral trade and investment ties facilitated by the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Both sides also expressed support for the expeditious conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as an integral component of the US' economic engagement to the Asia-Pacific.

Minister Shanmugam also had meetings with Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs and member of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut).

During the meetings, Minister Shanmugam expressed support for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Majority Staff Report "Re-balancing the Rebalance: Resourcing US Diplomatic Strategy in the Asia-Pacific" which underscored the importance of US engagement and sustained presence in the Asia-Pacific, and made recommendations to improve and properly resource the non-military aspects of the rebalancing policy towards Asia.

The Senators also welcomed the strong Singapore-US bilateral relations, underlined the importance of the Trade Promotion Authority and a successful conclusion of the TPP, and discussed with Minister Shanmugam regional and international developments.

In addition to the official meetings, Minister Shanmugam had a discussion with participants of the Foreign Policy Roundtable where there was a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the Trans-Pacific agenda including the international and regional geo-political developments.

In the evening, Minister Shanmugam delivered a keynote address to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum World Leaders Plenary. In his speech, Minister Shanmugam underscored Singapore's close ties and friendship with the US and Israel, and spoke on US-China relations, East Asia and the Middle East.