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Hillary Clinton to travel to Asia next week

The US Secretary of State will visit South Korea and Vietnam next week.



Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would travel to Asia next week, during which she is scheduled to attend the Kabul Conference in Afghanistan and meet foreign Ministers of ASEAN nations in Vietnam to strengthen US` relationship with South East Asia.

In Seoul, Hillary would be joined by Defence Secretary Robert Gates, where the two leaders would discuss the North Korean crisis with South Korean leadership. Hillary`s week-long travel to Asia begins from July 19.

"In Seoul, Secretary (Hillary) Clinton and Secretary of Defence Gates will join their respective Republic of Korea counterparts, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Minister of National Defence Kim Tae-young, for a 2+2 meeting to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.”

“Secretary Hillary and Secretary Gates will also meet with President Lee Myung-bak," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley, said.

"In Vietnam, (Hillary) Clinton will meet with senior Vietnamese leaders to discuss key bilateral and regional issues. She will also attend a luncheon highlighting the 15th anniversary of the US-Vietnam bilateral relationship," he said.

"Later in the day, the Secretary of State will participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Post Ministerial Conference and following that she will join the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam for their second meeting to discuss the Lower
Mekong Initiative," Crowley said.

Hillary will also lead the US delegation to the 17th ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial in Hanoi.

Coinciding with Hillary`s trip to Asia, the State Department also announced that Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns, would be travelling to Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Philippines from July 14 to 22.

Burns` visit to these Southeast Asian partners is an important element of the Administration`s commitment to increase and deepen engagement with this dynamic region, Crowley said.

In Bangkok, Burns will meet with senior government officials, including Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya with whom he`ll hold a Strategic Dialogue session to advance US-Thai co-operation on bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest.

He will also deliver a speech at Chulalongkorn University on the US-Thai alliance and cooperation in the region, and later travel to Phnom Penh to participate in events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of US-Cambodia bilateral relations.

He will also meet with senior Cambodian officials to discuss US partnership with Cambodia and the region, including through the Lower Mekong Initiative.

In Jakarta (July 18-19), Burns will discuss America`s continued work with Indonesia to build the Comprehensive Partnership and intensify its co-operation on regional security challenges.

On July 20 and 21, Burns will travel to Philippines to consult with senior officials in the new Aquino Administration and discuss ways to advance cooperation with this important ally.

PTI

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