Washington, DC (STL.News) The United States and ASEAN held the 34th annual U.S.-ASEAN Dialogue on May 5 (May 6 in Southeast Asia) to discuss cooperation under our strategic partnership. Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap co-chaired with Lao PDR Deputy Foreign Minister Bounleua Phandanouvong. Ambassador Keshap reaffirmed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reinvigorating our multilateral partnerships and to ASEAN centrality. He discussed pressing regional and international issues with his ASEAN counterparts including the need to uphold a rules-based international order, support for peaceful arbitration of disputes, and the promotion of sovereignty in the Indo-Pacific. He expressed support for ASEAN’s role in returning Burma to a path to democracy, called for the junta to immediately end the violence and release those unjustly detained for exercising their human rights, including journalists detained for their work, and emphasized the need for ASEAN to hold Burma’s military accountable to the five-point consensus endorsed by ASEAN leaders on April 24.
Ambassador Keshap reiterated ASEAN’s role as a key partner and stressed that the United States stands resolutely with our friends in Southeast Asia to promote respect for human rights, the rule of law, and good governance. He underlined the U.S.