AFP – U.S Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Myanmar, Australia and Solomon Islands later this month, the State Department says.
Kerry will arrive in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw on August 9 where he will meet government leaders and attend a series of gatherings including the ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit ministerial talks.
“Engaging the region’s multilateral institutions is one of the key aspects of US commitment in Asia to promote peace, stability, and prosperity,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The United States’ top diplomat will also participate in a series of bilateral meetings during his stay in Myanmar.
From Myanmar, Mr Kerry will head to Sydney on August 11 for the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), at which he will be joined by Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel.
On 13 August, he will travel to Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara for meetings with government leaders.
Kerry will also attend wreath-laying ceremonies at the World War II Guadalcanal American Memorial and the Solomon Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial.
Later that day,Kerry will leave for Hawaii’s capital Honolulu to give a speech at the East-West Center.
American friendships are prospering in the Asia-Pacific region, where President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia is anchored on reinvigorating alliances with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia.
Washington has also coaxed Myanmar away from China and drawn out Malaysia.