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SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a five-day working visit to Washington DC to attend the ASEAN-US Special Summit, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Monday (May 9).

During his trip from May 10 to 14, Mr Lee and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders will meet with US President Joe Biden.

They will be hosted to dinner by Mr Biden on May 12, and have a meeting with him the following day. 

“The leaders will review the current comprehensive ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership and discuss ways to further strengthen ASEAN-US cooperation for the future,” said PMO in a press statement. 

The ASEAN leaders and Mr Biden will also be exchanging views on regional and global issues, it added. 

This is the second Special Summit between the US president and ASEAN leaders since 2016, and will build on the momentum from the 9th ASEAN-US Summit held virtually in October 2021 which Mr Biden attended.

Mr Lee and other ASEAN leaders will also be hosted to a working lunch by US Vice President Kamala Harris, and a lunch with the US Congressional leaders hosted by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. 

The ASEAN leaders will participate in a meeting with Ms Harris and a group of US Cabinet Secretaries, with discussions to be focused on climate action, clean energy transition and sustainable infrustructure, said PMO. 

Mr Lee, who had also met Mr Biden at the White House in March, will be accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, as well as officials from PMO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Communications and Information on this visit. 

“During PM Lee’s absence, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security will be the Acting Prime Minister,” said PMO.

In April, the US announced that Mr Biden will meet in mid-may with ASEAN leaders.

The summit, which was originally scheduled for March, “will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to ASEAN”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said in a statement.

“It is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration to serve as a strong, reliable partner in Southeast Asia”, the statement had said.