Remarks With Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Blair House
Washington, DC
April 3, 2013

The video below is available with closed captioning on YouTube.


SECRETARY KERRY: Mr. Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER LEE: Hello. Thank you for coming.

SECRETARY KERRY: Happy to be here.

PRIME MINISTER LEE: Very happy to be with you.

SECRETARY KERRY: And I’m delighted to be with you again. Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER LEE: Thank you very much. Very happy to see Secretary Kerry again. He is an old Asia hand, knows very Asia very well, especially in China, and we look forward to continuing the relationship with him which I had with his predecessor, and which we have with the U.S. Government. We look forward to Secretary Kerry visiting ASEAN within the next few weeks, I think. And we believe that this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation.

And with Singapore particularly, we are very happy that we have many things going, and specifically with the State Department, that we have cooperation on a third country training program to train other countries in the region. And we also have a regular institutionalized Strategic Partnership Dialogue which we hold every year.

So with all of these things going on, I look forward to our relationship being taken to a new level.

SECRETARY KERRY: Very, very much so. It’s a great pleasure for me to be here to meet with Prime Minister Lee. We have met before, and I’ve had the privilege of being in Singapore a number of times. I’ve had some great interventions with his father, who I have often characterized as perhaps the wisest counsel that I’ve received in that part of the world, now replaced by yours, right?

I want to say that Singapore has been just a superb partner with us on issues of security, of trade, of the region, regional relationships, ASEAN. It couldn’t be more productive. There are a few things we’re trying to work on, obviously. The TPP is of great importance. Singapore has been an important leader in that effort, as well as in ASEAN. And in addition, we have some important law enforcement and security issues that we need to discuss. But all in all, this relationship is very, very important to us. It’s one of the most important regional alliances that we have and we’re enormously appreciative for all that you do to help us. And I think we have an opportunity now to step forward on a few more things, but we’re very, very grateful to you. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER LEE: Thank you. We work together.

SECRETARY KERRY: Absolutely. Thank you.


SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much.

PRN: 2013/0365