Countering terrorism and violent extremism is a key concern for Singapore and the region, given the risks posed by returning ISIS fighters as well as the group’s radical propaganda in Southeast Asia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Mar 23).
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and participated in the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS in Washington DC on Wednesday.
MFA said Singapore welcomed the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers, hosted by Mr Tillerson.
“Singapore has consistently supported the coalition’s efforts through contributions of military assets and personnel, and believes in the need for a comprehensive response that encompasses addressing economic, social and political factors,” it said in a statement.
At the meeting, MFA said Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Tillerson reaffirmed the “deep and multi-faceted relations” between Singapore and the US in the areas of defence, economic and security.
They also discussed regional developments as well as ways in which the US could build on its enduring strategic and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and strengthen its engagement of ASEAN, the ministry added.
Dr Balakrishnan will meet Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker before departing the US for Singapore on Friday, according to MFA.