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PM Lee meets Obama, Biden in Washington

During the meetings, Mr Lee and the US officials discussed Singapore-US bilateral ties and the US’ engagement efforts in Asia.

WASHINGTON, DC: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met United States President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Wednesday (June 25) in Washington, DC.

Mr Obama dropped by Mr Lee's meeting with Ms Rice, during which the Prime Minister and Ms Rice discussed the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and the US, which extend to the regional and multilateral levels, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary said in a statement on Thursday.

In his meeting with Ms Rice, Mr Lee welcomed the US’ active Asia policy, especially Mr Obama’s strong commitment and personal engagement with the region. According to the statement, the two also discussed ways in which America's engagement of Asia could be enhanced, including through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, given the strategic and economic importance of Asia to the US.

Mr Lee also met Mr Biden to reaffirm Singapore-US bilateral ties and exchange views on further enhancing relations. Both sides acknowledged the progress made on bilateral law enforcement and homeland security cooperation, and noted how the Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme has helped to support the US’ engagement efforts in Asia.

During the meeting, Mr Lee welcomed Mr Obama and Mr Biden’s “strong commitment to the Asia rebalance”, the statement said. Noting the benefits of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), Mr Lee and Mr Biden agreed on the importance of successfully concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Separately, Mr Lee also met with US lawmakers Randy Forbes and Colleen Hanabusa of the House Armed Services SubCommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. They had an extensive discussion on regional strategic and security issues, and reaffirmed the need for a robust and holistic US presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

On Wednesday, Mr Lee was also hosted to tea by US Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC). The session was attended by US Senators Robert Corker, Marco Rubio and Benjamin Cardin, who is Chairman of the SFRC Sub-Committee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Mr Lee discussed international and regional developments with the SFRC, including America's engagement of Asia, particularly South-east Asia, and the importance of the TPP to the US’ engagement efforts, according to the statement.

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