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USA pledges almost $300 million security funding for Southeast Asia

USA pledges almost $300 million security funding for Southeast Asia

On the sidelines of the event, Zarif held separate meetings with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as well as his Philippine, Japanese and Turkish counterparts for talks on bilateral ties as well as regional and global issues, including the Iran nuclear agreement.

According to a communique released after the meeting of foreign ministers of the regional bloc, there is the mutual desire of adopting the Vision of the Strategic Association Asean-China 2030 at the bilateral Summit to be held here in November, as well as the designation of 2019 as the Year Asean-China of Media Exchanges.

"I expect and am eager for this frequent engagement to continue", Mr Pompeo said.

Despite not being reported to have visited the country this year, KCNA stated that Ri met with Iranian counterparts during a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan in April.

Pompeo said the engagement has created hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the Pacific.

China claims almost all the strategically vital sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Asean members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

He added that the United States would support Asean efforts to promote peace in the region.

While noting Pyongyang's pledge to suspend further nuclear and missile tests, the ministers will express Asean's support for achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, says the draft, a copy of which was seen by Kyodo News.

USA considering higher tariffs on US$ 200 bil. of Chinese goods
Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States. The US is upset that China chose to adopt a retaliatory strategy in a tit-for-tat response.

The use of "Indo-Pacific" has grown among diplomats from Japan, Australia, India and the United States in recent years, a shorthand for a democratic-led region, as opposed to an "Asia-Pacific" with China at its center.

Asean's key partners also sought to address members' concerns at meetings, as they underlined their commitment to Asean centrality.

The message came along with a United States funding of 113 million United States dollars in support of technology, energy and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific, which was announced just a few days before the opening of the AMM 51.

Together, these make up the open, inclusive and Asean-centric regional architecture that has supported peace and stability in the region, said Mr Lee.

Earlier in the day, Mr Pompeo was in Putrajaya, where he called on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

In the draft text, Beijing suggests that China and the 10 ASEAN states should carry out joint military exercises regularly.

The draft however showed that Beijing wanted to stage military drills with ASEAN in the seas that excluded outside countries, a move analysts said was aimed at diminishing United States influence.

The "table-top" exercises at a Singapore naval base came ahead of the first naval drills between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Beijing, scheduled for October. "Is this what President Duterte calls an independent foreign policy?" she asked.


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