WASHINGTON, D.C.: Indonesia, the ASEAN-US Dialogue Coordinator, has said that ASEAN will continue to strengthen ASEAN-US relations and cooperation, which will be upgraded from a strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership, which is the highest level of partnership within the ASEAN framework.
Speaking at a meeting and dinner hosted by US President Joe Biden for ASEAN leaders on the Thursday afternoon (12 May 2022), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that ASEAN will be happy to continue strengthening ties to a higher level that has not been seen before.
President Joe Biden has said that ASEAN-US relations have been established for 45 years, and both sides have ushered in a new era in US-ASEAN relations. He said the United States is pleased to upgrade the strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN, and added that this dinner with ASEAN leaders is to celebrate the strengthening of cooperation and good relations.
During the dinner, the 2022 ASEAN Chair, Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue was an appropriate time for ASEAN and US leaders to meet at the White House to commemorate this historic and long-standing partnership. He also gave his condolences to the United States over the loss of 1 million people to Covid-19.
The Prime Minister said that now they had the opportunity think of the long-term process that ASEAN and the United States should work towards in order to strengthen relations in all areas. He thanked President Biden and the people of the United States for supporting Cambodia's role as ASEAN Chair this year, and continued that with a rapidly evolving momentum towards common good, he would like to take this opportunity to invite the US President directly join the 10th ASEAN-US Summit which will be held in November of 2022 in Cambodia.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also emphasized that the United States plays an important role in the world, and said that if the United States has a good economy, the world economy will also be good. He also thanked President Biden for providing a series of vaccines to Cambodia, which has greatly helped the national fight against Covid-19.
As the 2022 ASEAN Chair, Cambodia chose the theme of “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together” to work on resolving all challenges based on the spirit of togetherness, to maintain peace and stability, as well as to promote development, sustainability, prosperity and inclusion.
The Prime Minister remarked to the ASEAN and US leaders, "In fact, we recognize the positive role of ASEAN's external partners, especially the United States, in the whole process. ASEAN really appreciates all the work that the United States has done for the region."