Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan participated in the ASEAN-US Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The meeting, which was co-chaired by Lao PDR Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, was held via videoconference.
The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries, as well as information and best practices on dealing with the outbreak from a public health perspective. They noted the grave socio-economic impact of COVID-19, and emphasised the need for ASEAN and the US to work closely together on a forward-looking approach to address post-pandemic economic recovery.
At the meeting, Minister Balakrishnan expressed appreciation for the US’ efforts in the region to combat COVID-19 through health and humanitarian assistance. He also emphasised the need for trust and effective collaboration between ASEAN and the US to mount a united response to contain and recover from the pandemic. The Foreign Ministers discussed possible areas of cooperation that included sharing best practices and the use of technology to contain the spread of the pandemic, as well as having the scientific communities from ASEAN and the US to work together towards the development of vaccines and cures.
Minister Balakrishnan reiterated the critical importance of working with ASEAN and Dialogue Partners to ensure that trade lines and supply chains remained open and connected amid the pandemic, especially for necessities such as medical supplies and food. Maintaining open trade would also better position our countries for post-pandemic economic recovery.
. . . . .
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Videoconference for the ASEAN-US Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19.
[Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs]