June 3rd, 2016 14:33 EST
Ash Carter, Singaporean Prime Minister Affirm Security Partnership
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed their countries` long-standing security partnership and discussed a range of issues related to mutual security interests during a meeting in Singapore today, according to a statement issued by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.
Carter is in Singapore to attend this year`s Shangri-La Dialogue security conference. He`s slated to give a keynote address at the event tomorrow.
The two leaders conferred on cooperation on maritime security and countering violent extremism from terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Cook said.
Carter thanked the prime minister for facilitating elements of the U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific, including hosting littoral combat ships and rotational P-8 Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, Cook said.
The two leaders also discussed the need for a principled, networked regional security architecture, rooted in intensive cooperation and a shared, enduring interest in regional stability, Cook said.
With regard to the South China Sea, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, Cook said. The secretary, he added, noted the upcoming UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal ruling on the Philippines-China claims will be binding on both parties.
Carter also expressed appreciation for Singapore`s noteworthy role in supporting the counter-ISIL coalition, and in leading the counter-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden for the fourth time ", Cook said. The secretary thanked the prime minister for their close partnership, said Cook, noting Carter also said he looks forward to seeing the prime minister during his visit to Washington in August.
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