Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh. (Source: VNA)

Washington (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to the US, Pham Quang Vinh, chaired the regular meeting of the ASEAN Washington Committee (AWC) on January 7, the first meeting since Vietnam assumed the chair of AWC from January to April.

The meeting brought together representatives from ten ASEAN member states.

They were joined by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Daniel Russel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific, Scot Marciel, Senior Advisor for Southeast Asia, Colin Willett, Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, Daniel Kritenbrink, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia, Amy Searight.

The meeting was held a week after the official establishment of the ASEAN Community and on the threshold of the ASEAN-US Summit in February in Sunnylands, California.

It discussed the AWC agenda in 2016 and ways to promote the ASEAN Community in the US, alongside other priorities for the upcoming summit.

The two sides proposed that the summit need to focus on strengthening the ASEAN-US strategic partnership, supporting the ASEAN Community and the central role of ASEAN in the region.

Measures should also be chalked out to foster cooperation in economics, security, education, people exchange and address transnational challenges, which are key as identified in the Joint Statement on the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Daniel Russel, and Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, Daniel Kritenbrink, spoke of ASEAN’s success last year, particularly its effort to form the ASEAN Community.

The two officials expressed their belief that the summit in Sunnylands would create a momentum for the development of ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership.

The two sides later exchanged views of regional and global issues of mutual interest.-VNA