For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 12, 2005
Joint Statement between President Bush and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore
President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reaffirm the strong U.S.-Singapore partnership and will open a new chapter in strategic cooperation by signing the "Strategic Framework Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore for a Closer Cooperation Partnership in Defense and Security."
The Agreement is a natural step in the expansion of bilateral ties. President Bush and then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong first announced their intention to conclude this agreement in October 2003. It was born out of a shared desire to address common threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which called for even closer cooperation between the United States and Singapore. The Agreement recognizes Singapore's role as a Major Security Cooperation Partner and will expand the scope of current cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, joint military exercises and training, policy dialogues, and defense technology. The Agreement will further enhance regional stability by supporting the continued security presence of the United States in Southeast Asia.
The President and Prime Minister agree that the U.S. presence in the region has promoted peace and stability, which are crucial for regional cooperation and economic development. The President and Prime Minister instruct their senior officials to meet to continue close coordination on strategic issues in the period leading up to their next bilateral meeting.
The President and the Prime Minister acknowledge progress in the war on terror. The Prime Minister commends the President for the United States' resolute and steadfast stance in the war on terror and expresses Singapore's continued support in this endeavour.
The two leaders welcome the successful election of the first Iraqi National Assembly. President Bush expresses appreciation for Singapore's contributions to Iraq's reconstruction and stabilization. He commends the professionalism of the Singapore Armed Forces personnel who have been deployed in support of Iraq operations over the past two years and of the Singapore Police Force, which has provided critically important training.
The President and Prime Minister express optimism about the outlook in Southeast Asia. They welcome successful elections, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and renewed economic growth in the region and agree that these trends should be encouraged. The two leaders note the progress countries in the region have made in disabling terrorist networks through enhanced cooperation among ASEAN nations and with the international community. The President and Prime Minister condemn the terrorist attacks in London and call on governments around the world to fight terrorism together. They agree that a sustained, long-term effort is needed to defeat terrorism and reaffirm their commitment to continue working closely on law enforcement, non-proliferation, and other appropriate measures to address all aspects of the war on terror.
The President and Prime Minister express satisfaction with the seamless cooperation between the United States and Singapore in responding to the humanitarian disaster caused by the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. The two leaders note the increasing importance of the Regional Emerging Diseases Intervention (REDI) Centre in light of growing concern over transnational-public-health threats such as SARS and avian influenza. They also note the importance of the Straits of Malacca, and President Bush pledges U.S. support for the region's initiatives for maritime security.
The President and Prime Minister welcome the successful implementation of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the growth in bilateral trade since it became effective on January 1, 2004. They express satisfaction with growing commercial ties between our two countries and are confident that trade and investment relations will continue to expand.
The President and Prime Minister pledge to sustain the close cooperation between the United States and Singapore in key regional and global multilateral institutions. The President reaffirms U.S. support for ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum. The two leaders note the central role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in supporting trade and investment liberalization and in promoting cooperative efforts to strengthen regional security. With the forthcoming first Meeting of the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur in December 2005, they agree that the future development of cooperation among countries in the region should be open, transparent, and inclusive. The President and Prime Minister reaffirm the warm and strong ties between the United States and Singapore, which are grounded in historical cooperation, common interests, and shared strategic perspectives.