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'US engagement in Asia has been productive'

America's engagement in Asia has been a pillar for peace and prosperity in the region, visiting Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said today.

world Updated: Feb 02, 2012 12:55 IST

America's engagement in Asia has been a pillar for peace and prosperity in the region, visiting Singapore foreign minister K Shanmugam said on Thursday.

"The US engagement in Asia has been a pillar, the foundation, for peace and prosperity in the region," Shanmugam told reporters at a joint media availability with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"When you talk about the US pivot to Asia, US has always been in Asia, has played a very significant role. And we welcome that continued and even more intense focus that has been given in the last few years," he told reporters.

"We welcome a very substantive engagement on economic, as well as political, as well as military engagement. And we, for example, 20 years ago, offered the use of our facilities to the US and the SFA was signed in 2005, and our current engagement continues within that framework," he said.

Clinton said the multidimensional growth of America's relationship with Singapore is an example of the importance that the United States sets on strengthening its engagement in the Asia Pacific.

"We are working together on a full range of issues, including moving forward on a high quality trade agreement through the Trans-Pacific Partnership process," she said.

The two nations are partnering to increase maritime security cooperation by upholding the rule of law, fighting the scourge of piracy, and ensuring freedom of navigation.

"Because of our commitment to ASEAN, we are working to increase regional trade and economic integration, and through APEC, we have worked to spur the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. Our people work side by side to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to help Afghanistan rebuild," Clinton said.