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US-Singapore partnership dialogue officials hold meeting in S'pore

The US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue held its second meeting in Singapore on Monday.

SINGAPORE: The US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue held its second meeting in Singapore on Monday.

The co-chairs -- Singapore's Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mr Chee Wee Kiong, and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Mr Daniel Russel -- reviewed the many initiatives undertaken and sought new areas of cooperation in bilateral, regional and global matters of joint interest.

They also reviewed bilateral areas of engagement including economic, trade and defence, as well as the US-Singapore Third Country Training Programme.

They also discussed new areas of cooperation under the training programme, such as energy, climate change and sustainable development.

The co-chairs discussed recent developments in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and regional institutions such as ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and APEC, and how to use these institutions to address shared challenges confronting the region, including water management and the environment.

They affirmed the importance of regional peace and stability, maritime and aviation security, freedom and safety of navigation and overflight, as well as unimpeded, lawful commerce.

They emphasised the importance for countries in the region to resolve their disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and urged all parties to exercise self-restraint during the conduct of activities.

They also encouraged ASEAN member states and China to expeditiously work towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), and urged all parties to pursue their claims peacefully and in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.

The co-chairs also reviewed regional initiatives, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to achieve a mutually-beneficial, high-standard agreement that will contribute to establishing an open and inclusive trade and investment framework in the Asia-Pacific.

Both sides also noted the robust level of high-level visits between the two countries.

These include the official visit of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the US in April 2013, and the official visit to Singapore of US Vice President Joseph Biden Jr in July 2013.

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