Monday, February 5, 2018

US reiterates ‘deep’ commitment, interest in SEA region

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 6): US reiterates ‘deep’ commitment, interest in SEA region

With its continued counterterrorism partnership and military aid to Southeast Asian nations, the United States government reiterates its deep interest and commitment to the region, a senior State Department official said Monday.

In a teleconference with reporters (9:30 a.m. Philippine time), Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, principal deputy assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said they are in fact pushing forward for more engagements with the states.

The envoy was initially asked what strategic policy Washington has in mind for the Southeast Asian region.

In the strategic waterway, America had been consistent in upholding its right to conduct freedom of navigation and overflight.

But in terms of bilateral cooperation with states, it is engaged in training local soldiers and providing military donations to help the area inch closer on the eradication of global terror networks.

In the Philippines alone, the US recently delivered ammunitions and weapons to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ counterterrorism capabilities.

Since the Marawi conflict broke out up to its recovery stage at present, Washington has also provided military and humanitarian assistance to the government.

Kaidanow said there is "a deep, deep, deep commitment on the part of the US government. We are working (on) it all the time."

Kaidanow held the briefing to discuss US participation in the 2018 Singapore International Airshow, which will run from February 6 to 11.

The airshow is a biennial event and is the largest defense exhibition and biennial international tradeshow in the Asia-Pacific region.

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