International Convention Centre, Brunei Darussalam
9 October 2013

Relations between the ASEAN Member States and the United States of America elevated to a strategic partnership today with the holding of the 1st ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Brunei Darussalam.

President Benigno S. Aquino III and his fellow leaders welcomed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who represented President Barack Obama. In his opening statement, Secretary Kerry conveyed the apologies of the American Chief Executive for not being able to attend the summit due to the federal government shutdown in the U.S. According to him, the Washington D.C. crisis is a “moment of politics and nothing more.”

Nevertheless, the State Secretary assured the ASEAN Leaders of his country’s commitment to the region wherein ties have remained strong for decades. Among the initiatives that the U.S. would like to pursue are security cooperation and people-to-people ties. And with dialogue relations having been institutionalized from an ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting to an ASEAN-U.S. Summit, Secretary Kerry is confident that the level of meetings and discussions will also be raised.

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