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U.S., Singapore hold 1st strategic partners dialogue

(Xinhua)

15:43, January 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Singapore held here Wednesday their first Strategic Partners Dialogue, seeking to expand cooperation in bilateral, regional and global matters of joint interest.

The one-day talks, co-chaired by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Singapore's permanent secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan, served to "enhance further" bilateral relations and marked a new development in the countries' strategic partnership, the two countries said in a joint statement.

"The co-chairs, in the spirit of equal partnership, mutual respect and desire to promote close cooperation, reviewed an already robust array of initiatives undertaken between the two countries and sought new areas to create and expand cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global matters of joint interest," it said.

In addition to a review of bilateral areas of engagement including security, defense, education, trade and environment, the co-chairs discussed recent developments in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and regional institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

The pair reviewed regional initiatives as well, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, where they renewed their commitment to complete "a high standard, 21st century agreement" with the other participating countries, said the joint statement.

It said both co-chairs expressed interest in establishing joint technical assistance training programs for developing countries including those in the lower Mekong sub-region to help build capacity, narrow the development gap, and deepen regional integration.

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