Pompeo to embark on SE Asia tour later this week

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel next week to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as part of his trip to Southeast Asia, the Department of State announced Monday.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that in Kuala Lumpur, Pompeo will meet senior Malaysian officials to discuss “strengthening the Comprehensive Partnership and advancing common security and economic interests based on our strongly shared democratic values, following the recent historic and peaceful government transition in Malaysia.” Meanwhile, in Singapore, Pompeo will participate in the annual ASEAN-centered ministerial meetings, which “supports the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.” At the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, the US-ASEAN Ministerial and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial, Pompeo “will engage his fellow foreign ministers on the region’s most pressing security challenges.

They will also “seek to promote the rules-based order, reinforce our commitment to partnerships in the lower Mekong region and reaffirm US dedication to ASEAN and our friends and allies in the region,” the statement read.

Pompeo will discuss “our shared commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, upholding the rules-based order in the South China Sea, and countering terrorism.” He will also meet with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee and Foreign Minister Balakrishnan to reaffirm “our enduring bilateral relationship, sign a renewal of our Third Country Training Program, which builds capacity across Southeast Asia and supports Singapore’s significant role as current chair of ASEAN.” In Jakarta, the US top diplomat “will reinforce the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership as we look ahead to celebrating 70 years of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2019.” Pompeo will also discuss “advancing our shared security and bilateral trade and investment goals, affirm ASEAN centrality and highlight Indonesia’s leadership in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Source: Kuwait News Agency