UNITED States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional forum and other meetings to be held in Manila from August 5 to 9, the US state department confirmed Wednesday.
In a statement, Heather Nauert, US State Department spokesman, said aside from participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Tillerson will also be joining the East Asia Ministerial Summit, the US-Asean Ministerial and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial.
“During these meetings, Secretary Tillerson will meet with his counterparts and discuss a range of issues including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maritime security, and counterterrorism,” Nauert said.
She added that Tillerson’s travel reaffirms the commitment of the US to broaden and enhance US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
From Manila, Tillerson will proceed to Thailand to pay respects to His Majesty, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and discuss with Thai officials regional issues.
He will also visit Kuala Lumpur to discuss with officials there ways to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues in the 60th year of US-Malaysia bilateral relations.
The Philippines, as this year’s chairman of Asean, will host the 50th Asean foreign Ministers Meeting and other related meetings.
The foreign minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will also attend the Asean Regional Forum.
Foreign ministers from 27 countries will participate in the 50th ministerial meet, which is considered a very important event because it will also coincide with the grand celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Asean.