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ASEAN-US summit exhibits US ‘values partnership’ with Southeast Asia: PM Lee

Mr Biden additionally introduced on Friday that he would nominate his chief of employees and govt secretary on the National Security Council Yohannes Abraham to function ambassador to ASEAN.

ASEAN has not had a US ambassador since January 2017.

On Friday, Mr Lee additionally met Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry for a bilateral assembly, and attended a working lunch hosted by Ms Harris targeted on maritime cooperation and pandemic restoration.

RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE

Mr Lee responded to questions from journalists concerning the ASEAN leaders’ engagement with Mr Biden on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While ASEAN has taken a stand and issued an announcement “as a whole”, the assertion is “not as strong as it could be” as a result of completely different international locations have completely different views, he mentioned.

For instance, when the UN General Assembly voted to droop Russia from the Human Rights Council, Vietnam and Laos abstained, whereas the opposite international locations voted for it, Mr Lee famous. Singapore additionally abstained from the vote.

“If you look at the national statements and the national actions, I think Singapore’s is the most forthright statement, which we issued and we also had some targeted sanctions on Russia,” he mentioned, including that Cambodia additionally took a robust stance on the difficulty.

“I think Prime Minister Hun Sen was quite unambiguous and emphatic in his explanation of his position that there must be absolute rules against violating territorial integrity and sovereignty and independence of other countries. Otherwise, where do small countries stand?” mentioned Mr Lee.

CABINET CHANGES MAY COME NEXT MONTH

The Prime Minister additionally informed journalists he might make modifications to the Cabinet in early June.

Mr Lee was responding to a query on whether or not there have been any updates on Cabinet actions and succession plans, a couple of month after Finance Minister Lawrence Wong was chosen because the chief of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation, or 4G, management crew.

The announcement, made on Apr 14 in Singapore, paves the way in which for Mr Wong to change into Singapore’s subsequent Prime Minister. He was the primary selection by an “overwhelming majority”, mentioned retired minister Khaw Boon Wan on the time.

“I’ve had to focus on this trip and I have another trip coming up in two weeks’ time going to the Nikkei conference (in Japan),” Mr Lee mentioned. “But I’m working at it. I hope I shall be able to do it once I’m done with my trips, which means early June.”

At a press convention after Mr Wong was named because the 4G chief in April, Mr Lee had mentioned that whether or not he or Mr Wong would lead the PAP within the subsequent election was a choice that might be made later.

“I’ll focus on with Lawrence, and we are going to resolve later what one of the best technique is for us to combat the subsequent basic election,” the Prime Minister informed reporters on the time, including that it’ll rely upon “how things evolve”. 

The subsequent General Election should be held by 2025.

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