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The exact dates of Joe Biden’s special ASEAN summit have not been announced yet. (File)Washington: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced to host a special session of ASEAN leaders in Washington this spring.Biden made the announcement during a joint news conference with the visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore at the White House.”As we look toward the future, Prime Minister Lee and I share a commitment to ASEAN and its centrality in all of what we do. And I’m looking forward to hosting the ASEAN leaders here in Washington, DC for a special summit this spring,” Biden told reporters.The exact dates of the summit have not been announced yet, but it is expected to be held soon.Biden did not give any other details about the summit, but the announcement in this regard during his meeting with Prime Minister Lee reflects the significance he attaches to his Indo-Pacific policy.Prime Minister Lee welcomed the decision.“We welcome his intention to host an ASEAN-US special summit here soon. It’s a strong affirmation of American commitment to Southeast Asia and to ASEAN centrality. The President and I discussed the importance of the US growing both its strategic and economic stakes in the Asia Pacific,” Lee said.Biden said the US and Singapore are working to uphold a rules-based international order supporting the founding principles of the United Nations and advance a future for the Indo-Pacific that is both free and open.“We also discussed a wide range of concerns for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. That includes ensuring that all nations in the region, including China, uphold the principles that enable a free and open region. Singapore and the United States are both committed to freedom of navigation as well as an unimpeded flow of maritime commerce in the South China Sea,” he said.Singapore is the second largest Asian investor in the US, and the US is the largest investor in Singapore. Singapore’s investments in the US and US exports to Singapore support over a quarter million American jobs. On the defence front, Singapore is a major security cooperation partner of the US, in fact, the only country with this status, he said.Lee said it is important to advance a positive economic agenda that’s open, inclusive, up to date, and flexible. “We therefore welcome America’s proposed Indo-Pacific economic framework which will strengthen America’s engagement in the evolving, regional, economic architecture. I discussed with the President his recent visit to Europe and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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