Biden, Singapore’s prime minister to discuss Ukraine, Indo-Pacific security

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden welcomed Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the White Home for bilateral conferences Tuesday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sustaining peace within the Indo-Pacific area, local weather change and provide chain points.

“This is a critical moment for I think for both our countries and the region that you so heavily represent,” mentioned Biden throughout transient remarks to the press, seated subsequent to Lee.

Biden added, the partnership between the 2 international locations “is as important as it’s ever been, as a matter of fact I think it’s growing.”

Lee thanked Biden for receiving him at this “critical moment in world affairs” and famous Singapore as a significant security associate of the U.S.

“I’m sure you are completely seized with what’s happening in Europe right now, but we doubly appreciate the time you are giving to the relationship with Singapore and the southeast Asian countries generally,” mentioned Lee.

A senior Biden administration official advised reporters Monday in a preview of the go to the 2 leaders will probably be assembly at a “very critical time, one in which the rules-based international order faces unprecedented challenges.”

The official added, “I think it’s obviously shaped by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war against Ukraine, which poses an urgent threat not only for Europe, but also for the Indo-Pacific.”

Singapore has applied sanctions and export controls in opposition to Russia in an effort to assist Ukraine, in what the official described as a “very significant development.”

After the 2 leaders meet Tuesday morning, they’re anticipated to ship an announcement to the press from the White Home. Singapore’s chief will then meet with Vice President Kamala Harris.

The conferences are a chance for the 2 international locations to deepen their cooperation, the official mentioned, together with increasing engagement on commerce within the area, in addition to strengthen security ties — a key subject as China expands its army posture within the South China Sea. The leaders may also discuss local weather change, area and cyberthreats, and preventing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official mentioned the Biden administration believes the U.S. partnership with Singapore has “important benefits for the American people.”

Biden final met with Lee on the G-20 summit in Rome in October.

Teaganne Finn contributed.

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