The US and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to work towards elevating the relationship to a strategic partnership in time for the East Asia Summit (EAS) in November.

The remark was made during the 28 th ASEAN-US Dialogue held in Washington DC on May 15 and co-chaired by Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel and his counterpart U Aung Lynn, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar.

At the Dialogue, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to realising solutions to pressing global, regional and transnational issues affecting the region, including climate change; illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR); and recent developments in the East Sea.

Both sides discussed ASEAN efforts towards greater economic integration and areas of expanded economic cooperation.

The US reiterated the importance of ASEAN unity and centrality in the regional security architecture, and both parties underscored the importance of the EAS as the premier leaders-led forum for addressing strategic, high-level political and security matters.

The US and ASEAN also discussed migration in Southeast Asia and the need to address the underlying challenges that contribute to it.

The very productive discussions at the dialogue are tangible demonstrations of the US commitment to rebalancing foreign policy towards Asia, according to the announcement of the US Department of State.

Formed in 1967, ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA