Washington: US President Barack Obama will meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today in the White House where two leaders are expected to discuss broad range of strategic and economic issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region.
"The President looks forward to discussing with Prime Minister Lee a broad range of strategic and economic issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region," the White House said on the eve of the crucial meeting between the two leaders.
"The United States and Singapore have strong economic and security ties, and our strategic partnership reflects a shared commitment to working together to ensure the continued peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region," the White House said.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hosted lunch for the visiting foreign dignitary at the Pentagon.
"The meeting was an opportunity for Secretary Hagel to hear the Prime Minister`s views on regional security issues including how nations can work with one another to peacefully resolve territorial issues in the East and South China Seas," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said after the meeting.
Hagel thanked Lee for Singapore`s strong ties of friendship and close collaboration on a number of shared interests including Afghanistan, counter-piracy and counter-proliferation efforts, he said.
"The secretary thanked the Prime Minister for hosting up to four forward-deployed Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) on a rotational basis in Singapore. The first of these ships, the USS Freedom, is currently en route to Singapore and will arrive later this month," he added.
During the meeting, Hagel made clear the US and the Department of Defence remain committed to the rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region and that in the future there will be even more opportunities for closer collaboration between the United States and Singapore, Little said.
Hagel also accepted an invitation from Lee to travel to Singapore for the Shangri-La dialogue next month.