WASHINGTON, June 4, 2017 —
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Singaporean counterpart exchanged views on the regional security environment in Southeast Asia and discussed a range mutual security interests during a meeting yesterday on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, a spokesman for Mattis, said in a statement today.
The Shangri-La Dialog is a major annual forum for key leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss security challenges and opportunities.
Mattis and Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen affirmed the long-standing bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Singapore, Ross said, including countering violent extremism from terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The secretary expressed appreciation for Singapore hosting U.S. forces, he added, and emphasized the importance of its contributions to the defeat-ISIS campaign.
The two defense leaders also discussed shared interests in regional stability and the rule of law, and the strengthening of the U.S relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Ross said.
With regard to the South China Sea, the spokesman said, they reaffirmed the importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law.