On July 11, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Secretary Clinton participated in regional conferences, to both chair and attend ministerial events and to participate in bilateral meetings with Cambodian officials. Regional conferences included the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the U.S.-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference. Secretary Clinton co-chaired the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial as well as chaired the Friends of the Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting.
While in Cambodia, Secretary Clinton met with Australian Foreign Minister Carr, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang, Indonesian Foreign Minister Natalegawa, and Singaporean Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam.
The Secretary also held a trilateral with Korean Foreign Minister Kim and Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba. At the top of their meeting, Secretary Clinton said, "We share values and interests, as our joint statement reflects. As three democracies with a common vision on how to promote peace and prosperity, we all have a deep stake and a great responsibility to work together to strengthen and update a rules-based order for the Asia Pacific. This trilateral cooperation is about our shared future, and it is about how to deliver the greatest benefits to people in our three countries and across the region."
On July 12, Secretary Clinton led the United States' delegation to the 19th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Phnom Penh. The ARF is the region's broadest and oldest security dialogue forum. ARF holds on average 25 events annually across several key areas: disaster relief, maritime security, nonproliferation and disarmament, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, and preventive diplomacy. The United States is actively engaged in all of these events, and we are committed to working through the ARF process to enhance peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. You can read more about U.S. engagement in the 2012 ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) here.
On the occasion of ARF, the United States and China underscored the benefits to the United States and China, the Asia-Pacific region, and the international community of building a U.S.-China cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and fostering a new type of relationship between major countries. Toward this end, through regular and substantive dialogue and consultation, the United States and China are developing cooperative activities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
At this year's ARF, the two countries pledged to enhance and initiate collaborative efforts in the region, including in the areas of science and technology, climate change, disaster warning and response, energy policy, forest management, fisheries management, disease detection and control, and wildlife protection and conservation. You can read more about these efforts here.
Both the United States and the European Union (EU) welcome an active and constructive role for China in the Asia-Pacific region. Secretary Clinton and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met in Phnom Penh to exchange views on developments in the Asia-Pacific, demonstrating the importance the United States and the European Union attach to this thriving region and its peaceful and dynamic development. Secretary Clinton and High Representative Ashton noted that interdependence between Asia, the United States and the European Union has reached unprecedented levels. Closer consultation between the United States and European Union on Asia-Pacific issues bilaterally, and with partners across the region, will be aimed at advancing regional security, development, well-being, and prosperity.
Secretary Clinton and High Representative Ashton welcomed the progress being made in regional cooperation and integration in the Asia-Pacific. This enhances the capacity of the region to address complex trans-national issues, while contributing to strengthened governance. The United States and the European Union particularly welcome the central role played by ASEAN and its promotion of wider regional fora, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.
During a press availability in Cambodia, Secretary Clinton said, "I spent several hours today meeting with colleagues at both the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum, and yesterday at the U.S.-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference. These institutions are at the heart of America's expanding, multi-faceted engagement in the region. From boosting trade to expanding educational and cultural exchanges so strengthening security arrangements, these meetings are valuable opportunities for all the key players in the region to sit down together to grapple with some of the most important challenges we are facing."
Secretary Clinton is on travel to France, Afghanistan, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Egypt, and Israel. You can follow her trip on www.state.gov.