Asien — Asia Summit to Kick-Off Five-Nation Gates Trip

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2010 — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates today embarked on a five-nation trip that will begin with his par­tic­i­pa­tion in a major Asian secu­ri­ty con­fer­ence in Sin­ga­pore.

In addi­tion to Sin­ga­pore, the sec­re­tary will trav­el to Azer­bai­jan, Eng­land, Bel­gium and Germany. 

The Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies Asia Secu­ri­ty Sum­mit – known as the “Shangri-La Dia­logue” for the Sin­ga­pore hotel where it’s held — is the ninth annu­al con­fer­ence since its 2002 incep­tion. A senior defense offi­cial speak­ing on back­ground called it “the pre-emi­nent secu­ri­ty con­fer­ence in Asia.” 

“The sec­re­tary and a lot of his coun­ter­parts are able to gath­er and talk freely about a range of issues and intro­duce a range of secu­ri­ty issues for the Asia-Pacif­ic region,” the offi­cial said, “but [he] also will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to have bilat­er­al dis­cus­sions with many of his counterparts.” 

Gates will artic­u­late cer­tain U.S. strate­gic inter­ests — both pub­licly and pri­vate­ly — in Asia, the offi­cial added, includ­ing through a speech he’ll deliv­er June 4. 

“Giv­en where we are in the defense cycle,” the offi­cial said, “[this] allows the sec­re­tary to talk for the first time about the impli­ca­tions of the reviews that have hap­pened, espe­cial­ly the Qua­dren­ni­al Defense Review, and the impli­ca­tions for our secu­ri­ty pos­ture and pres­ence and poli­cies in Asia.” 

The sec­re­tary will empha­size the impor­tance the Unit­ed States places on its role in Asia, the offi­cial said, as well as the need for mutu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty for all coun­tries in the region. 

Gates also will thank nations that have been con­tribut­ing to efforts in Pak­istan and Afghanistan, the offi­cial said. 

A June 4 bilat­er­al meet­ing with Indone­sian Defense Min­is­ter Purnomo Yus­giantoro will be the first between the two men, and the senior defense offi­cial said it’s hoped their talk will be a pre­cur­sor to high­er-lev­el U.S.-Indonesia vis­its. Gates is expect­ed to dis­cuss defense coop­er­a­tion and how the Unit­ed States can help to bring Indone­sia to a lead­er­ship posi­tion in South­east Asia on a range of issues, includ­ing mar­itime secu­ri­ty and inter­na­tion­al peacekeeping. 

Gates also will meet briefly with New Zealand’s defense min­is­ter, Wayne Daniel. 

“This will be the first time that they will have met since we did a re-eval­u­a­tion of our approach toward defense coop­er­a­tion with New Zealand, which allowed for some broad­er lev­el of defense engage­ment, … albeit still not a return to the alliance that we used to have with New Zealand before they imple­ment­ed anti-nuclear leg­is­la­tion,” the offi­cial said. “But it will be a good chance for the sec­re­tary and the min­is­ter to dis­cuss how to move for­ward with this new pol­i­cy and where we can explore cooperation.” 

New Zealand’s role in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province is one such top­ic, the offi­cial said. “They’re look­ing at refin­ing their con­tri­bu­tion based on the sit­u­a­tion on the ground and our pol­i­cy,” the offi­cial said. “Since Bamiyan is arguably one of the safer provinces, [we’re] look­ing at how we can adjust that so that it can be turned over to Afghan secu­ri­ty forces when appropriate.” 

Gates also will have a bilat­er­al meet­ing with Shiv Shankar Menon, India’s nation­al secu­ri­ty advi­sor. The sec­re­tary vis­it­ed India ear­ly this year, the senior offi­cial not­ed, and this meet­ing will be a chance to press for­ward with the U.S. defense engage­ment with India. The meet­ing between Gates and Menon will take place just after a strate­gic dia­logue here between Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton and Indi­an For­eign Min­is­ter Somana­hal­li Mal­la­iah Krish­na in Wash­ing­ton, the senior defense offi­cial noted. 

Anoth­er bilat­er­al meet­ing is sched­uled between Gates and his Viet­namese coun­ter­part, Lt. Gen. Phung Quang Thanh Sr. “The engage­ment with Viet­nam is a real focus that we’re try­ing to build,” the offi­cial said. “It’s going at its own mea­sured pace.” Gates and Thanh have met in Wash­ing­ton and at last year’s Shangri-La Dia­logue, he not­ed, and the meet­ing this week will seek to con­tin­ue that momen­tum and to “see where this can go and where we can real­ly both ben­e­fit togeth­er as Viet­nam is becom­ing an even larg­er play­er in the region.” With Vietnam’s emer­gence as a lead­ing pro­po­nent for mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism in the region, the offi­cial added, it’s expect­ed that Gates and Thanh will dis­cuss Asian secu­ri­ty issues at large as well as bilat­er­al matters. 

Anoth­er senior defense offi­cial brief­ing reporters on back­ground said a bilat­er­al meet­ing in Sin­ga­pore with South Kore­an Defense Min­is­ter Kim Tae-young will give Gates and Kim an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss the appar­ent North Kore­an sink­ing of the South Kore­an frigate Cheo­nan on March 26, which killed 46 sailors. 

“The sec­re­tary will con­vey to the min­is­ter our full sup­port for the way in which the Kore­an gov­ern­ment has been han­dling the cri­sis, that our com­mit­ment to the defense of Korea is and remains unequiv­o­cal, and that we’re com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing to work with Korea and our oth­er allies and part­ners in the region to try to lessen the threat that North Korea pos­es to region­al sta­bil­i­ty,” the offi­cial said. 

On June 5, Gates will meet briefly with Mon­go­lian Defense Min­is­ter Luvsan­van­dan Bold, in part to thank him for Mongolia’s con­tri­bu­tions as “res­olute and good part­ners in Afghanistan,” the offi­cial said. Lat­er, he’ll meet with Sin­ga­pore­an Defense Min­is­ter and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Teo Chee Hean. Gates always appre­ci­ates get­ting Singapore’s views on what’s going on in the region and shar­ing the U.S. per­spec­tive, the offi­cial said. 

“In addi­tion to being a good region­al play­er, [Sin­ga­pore also is] a con­trib­u­tor to Afghanistan,” the offi­cial said. “So that’s some­thing they’ll talk about as well.” 

Gates also will par­tic­i­pate in a tri­lat­er­al meet­ing with his South Kore­an and Japan­ese coun­ter­parts, a prac­tice that began at last year’s Shangri-La Dialogue. 

On June 6, Gates will fly to Baku, Azer­bai­jan, where he’ll meet with Pres­i­dent Ilham Aliyev, and the next day, he’ll meet with Defense Min­is­ter Col. Gen. Safar Abiyev. About a quar­ter of the sup­plies bound for U.S. forces in Afghanistan pass through Azerbaijan. 

“The sec­re­tary has not real­ly had a chance to engage with them,” Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell said, “and this is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for him to express our appre­ci­a­tion, and also to fig­ure out how we can work bet­ter togeth­er to main­tain the lev­el of sup­port that is now flow­ing through Azerbaijan.” 

After meet­ing with his coun­ter­part in Azer­bai­jan, Gates will trav­el to Lon­don, where he’ll meet with lead­ers of Britain’s new gov­ern­ment. The sec­re­tary will meet with Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron on June 7 and with Defense Min­is­ter Liam Fox and For­eign Sec­re­tary William Hague the next day. 

On June 9, Gates will trav­el to Brus­sels, Bel­gium, for a meet­ing of NATO defense min­is­ters. When the NATO meet­ings con­clude June 11, the sec­re­tary will fly to Ger­many, where he’ll vis­it wound­ed war­riors at Land­stuhl Region­al Med­ical Cen­ter and speak at the Kaiser­slautern High School grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny before head­ing back to Washington. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →