Remarks With Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo Yong Boon Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 27, 2009

Date: 04/27/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton speaks to Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo before their meeting. State Dept Photo
Well, we are very pleased to have Minister Yeo here with us on behalf of Singapore, a nation that we have very close and constructive relationships with, a nation that is right at the core of global commerce, and I think was just named for the 21st year in a row the best port. So we know that it’s a critical part of the global economy. And I also want to thank you and your government for your efforts on behalf of the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the medical and other work that you have provided in Afghanistan.

We have a big agenda before us, and I’m looking forward to our meeting.

FOREIGN MINISTER YEO: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, for welcoming me to the State Department. Delighted to be back here and delighted to be calling on you in your capacity as Secretary of State. Bilateral relations between Singapore and the U.S. are excellent. We have a free trade agreement which was negotiated in ’03, a strategic framework – a security framework agreement which was concluded in ’05. Singapore armed forces work with the U.S. armed services in Iraq and in Afghanistan and the Gulf of Aden.

I am here today to discuss how to take our relations to a higher level. We appreciate it very much, Madame Secretary, your visit to East Asia, your first – on your first overseas visit. Your visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta was much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back in July for the ASEAN Regional Forum.


FOREIGN MINISTER YEO: And we are also looking forward to the visit of President Obama for the ASEAN – for APEC Economic Ministers Meeting in Singapore in November this year.


FOREIGN MINISTER YEO: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are looking forward to all of that as well. Thank you so much, Minister.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, how are you advising Americans in terms of travel to Mexico?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have put up on our website information and urging caution with those who are planning to travel. We are coordinating very closely with the Centers for Disease Control, with the Department of Homeland Security. We are taking this very seriously and working also with the World Health Organization and other countries to try to develop a strategy to prevent the spread of this form of swine flu.

We do believe that our efforts are developed and prepared to confront this wherever it might occur inside our own country, and enhanced cooperation across boundaries will be very important. And we obviously have offered help and assistance to the Government of Mexico to make sure that they have the resources and the technical expertise that they might need if they so request.

Thank you.

PRN: 2009/382