Hagel Hosts Singapore's Prime Minister at Pentagon
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 1, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hosted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore for a working lunch at the Pentagon today, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, hosts an honor cordon and working lunch for Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Pentagon, April 1, 2013. The two leaders met to discuss issues of mutual concern. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"The meeting was an opportunity for Secretary Hagel to hear the Prime Minister's views on regional security issues, including how nations can work with one another to peacefully resolve territorial issues in the East and South China Seas,” Little said.
Hagel thanked the Prime Minister for Singapore's strong ties of friendship and close collaboration on a number of shared interests, including Afghanistan, counterpiracy and counterproliferation efforts, Little said.
The secretary also thanked the Prime Minister for hosting up to four forward-deployed littoral combat ships on a rotational basis in Singapore, Little said. The first of these ships, the USS Freedom, he said, is currently en route to Singapore and will arrive later this month.
"Secretary Hagel made clear the United States and the Department of Defense remain committed to the rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region,” Little said, “and that in the future there will be even more opportunities for closer collaboration between the United States and Singapore.”
Little said Hagel accepted an invitation from the prime minister to travel to Singapore for the Shangri-La dialogue next month.
“Secretary Hagel looks forward to visiting with allies and partners from around the region and addressing the conference," Little said.