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Pentagon chief to attend Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore


08:43, May 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will travel to Singapore this week to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue for the first time as Pentagon chief, senior defense officials announced Tuesday.

Hagel will deliver the opening keynote address at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, which will be attended by defense ministers and security experts from across the Asia-Pacific region, officials told Pentagon reporters during a background briefing.

Hagel helped to found the event in 2002 when he was a U.S. Senator. "He's spoken a number of times at the forum, and he's really looking forward to going back now," an official said.

Officials said Hagel's schedule in Singapore includes a number of bilateral meetings and two trilateral meetings. He will then travel to NATO headquarters in Brussels for a gathering of defense ministers.

The forum gets its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore where it has been held since 2002.

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