Top US diplomat for Asia to visit 4 ASEAN countries

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The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia will visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from the weekend after President Joe Biden pledged stepped up engagement with Southeast Asia.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, would be in the region from Saturday until Dec. 4, a State Department statement said.

Kritenbrink would “reaffirm the U.S. commitment to work together … to tackle the most serious global and regional challenges” and stress U.S. support for “a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific,” it said.

Kritenbrink will discuss human rights “challenges,” seek to bolster cooperation on climate change and discuss ways to pressure Myanmar’s military government to cease violence and allow unhindered humanitarian access, the statement said.

He will also discuss how to strengthen economic relationships and “build back better” from the Covd-19 pandemic, it said.—Reuters

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