The U.S. official had an informal meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-level security summit taking place in Singapore from June 10-12.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

According to a release from Singapore's Ministry of Defense (Mindef), Austin said the U.S. will continue to deepen cooperation with ASEAN, particularly in the area of maritime security.

It will also play a strong role in the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+), an annual forum of the regional bloc and its eight partner countries.

The Southeast Asian defense ministers, except for Myanmar's, who is not attending the meeting  - welcomed the U.S.' continued engagement of the region, said Mindef.

Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen also reaffirmed the principles that underpin the strong U.S.-ASEAN relationship, and showed his country’s aspiration to enhance cooperation with the U.S. to tackle transnational security challenges.

Source: VNA