US, Singapore enhance relations
SINGAPORE: The first United States-Singapore Strategic Partners Dialogue took place in Washington DC on Wednesday.
It was co-chaired by Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Bilahari Kausikan and US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell.
A joint statement by the partners said the dialogue served to enhance further US-Singapore relations and marked a new development in the strategic partnership.
The co-chairs reviewed initiatives already and sought new areas to expand cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global matters of joint interest.
The co-chairs reviewed bilateral areas of engagement including security, defence, education, trade and environment.
They discussed recent developments in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and regional institutions such as ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
They also reviewed regional initiatives including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, where they renewed their commitment to complete a high standard, 21st century agreement with the other participating countries.
Both co-chairs also expressed interest in establishing joint technical assistance training programmes for developing countries including in the lower Mekong sub-region to help build capacity, narrow the development gap, and deepen regional integration.
They affirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, and lawful, unimpeded commerce, respect for international law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The co-chairs also had further dialogue on areas of global cooperation including Afghanistan and Iraq.
The co-chairs noted the constructive nature of the strategic dialogue and areas of immediate follow-up and preparation for the upcoming ministerial meeting between US Secretary of State Clinton and Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam.
They discussed the upcoming Singapore Conference in Washington, DC.
I wouldn't read too much into this. Singapore has strategic dialogues with a number of countries eg India, Australia etc on a regular basis. Its just formalising something that already is happening. That's how agreements like FTAs get signed.
On the MFA level, Singapore talks to practically everyone. No reason not to.
This is only remotely "military". Doesn't belong in this forum.