The United States welcomed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook on the Indo-Pacific adopted during a leader's summit in Thailand's capital city Bangkok on June 23.
"We welcome the issuance of the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific" by the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on June 23, 2019. This is a major step in affirming ASEAN unity at an important time in the organization's history," Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the US Department of State said in a release on Tuesday.
The statement added that the US sees a strong convergence between the principles enshrined in the outlook and Washington's vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as the regional approaches of its allies, partners, and friends.
"We see strong convergence between the principles enshrined in ASEAN's Indo-Pacific outlook--inclusivity, openness, a region based on rule of law, good governance, and respect for international law--and the vision of the United States for a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as the regional approaches of our allies, partners, and friends."
"The United States continues to place ASEAN centrality at the heart of our Indo-Pacific strategy. ASEAN is central to the region and is an indispensable and irreplaceable strategic partner with the United States," it added.
The statement concluded that the US looks forward to working with ASEAN to implement its "shared vision for the region to continue to advance peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific."
On June 23, the 10 members of ASEAN officially adopted the Outlook on the Indo-Pacific after a year of negotiations. According to media reports, the initiative has been welcomed by India, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
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