US lauds Vietnam for convening ASEAN Foreign Ministers in “unprecedented times”
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|This image taken from video provided by VTV shows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking during an online meeting with ASEAN foreign ministers on Sept. 10, 2020. Photo: VTV via AP|
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo praised Vietnam - ASEAN Chair - for its work convening ASEAN Foreign Ministers during “these unprecedented times”, while addressing the ASEAN-US Ministerial Meeting held online on September 10 (Vietnamese time).
The US Department of State said Secretary Pompeo and his ASEAN counterparts highlighted the breadth and depth of US engagement and commitment to the ASEAN region.
They discussed ASEAN and US cooperation on regional political, security, economic, and cultural issues.
The Secretary reiterated US support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and its role in guiding US engagement with ASEAN. He further emphasised ASEAN’s important role at the centre of the US vision for the Indo-Pacific.
The Secretary announced new initiatives under the US-ASEAN Health Futures programme and to support human capital development.
He also lauded ASEAN countries for their transparent responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Secretary Pompeo said the US will partner with ASEAN in its economic recovery. Photo: asean.usmission.gov|
In reply, ASEAN countries thanked the US for the over US$87 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance provided to combat COVID-19. The Secretary reiterated that the US will partner with the region in its economic recovery, “using all tools at our disposal, including the support of the US private sector.”
Secretary Pompeo discussed pressing international and regional issues, including the need to address the root cause of violence in Rakhine State in Burma; for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to halt its provocations and return to the negotiating table; and for China to halt its aggressive and destabilizing policies, including in the South China Sea, the Mekong sub-region, and Hong Kong.
The Secretary and ASEAN Foreign Ministers shared their common position that all disputes in the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea) should be resolved peacefully and in line with international law, namely the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea./.
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