Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Cmdr. Gary Ross provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met today with ministers and heads of delegation from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore to discuss security challenges and opportunities for increased cooperation.
They had a robust exchange of views on regional security issues, focusing on counterterrorism and maritime security cooperation and the threat posed by North Korea. Participants expressed appreciation for U.S.-ASEAN cooperation noting the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations. They highlighted the importance of ASEAN unity, welcomed continued progress in fostering practical defense cooperation within the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) framework, and looked forward to the conduct of the fifth ADMM-Plus in October of this year.