Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Tacloban, and Manila from Dec. 11-18, 2013.
In Jerusalem, Secretary Kerry met with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues including Iran and the ongoing final status negotiations with the Palestinians. In Ramallah, Secretary Kerry met with President Abbas, where he discussed the ongoing final status negotiations, among other issues.
This trip to Asia is his fourth to the region since becoming Secretary of State. Within the Asia-Pacific rebalance, Southeast Asia holds special importance, and the Secretary’s travel to Vietnam and the Philippines demonstrates the enduring U.S. commitment and his personal connections to the region. The Secretary’s visit to Vietnam highlights the dramatic transformation in the bilateral relationship over the years and our growing partnership in many areas.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Secretary Kerry’s meetings underscore the growth of our bilateral trade relationship and the empowering role of education. His visit to the Mekong Delta emphasizes how Americans and Vietnamese can work together on critical issues such as climate change and renewable energy.
In Hanoi, the Secretary met with senior Vietnamese leaders to advance the Comprehensive Partnership announced by President Obama and President Sang in July and to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.
Secretary Kerry then traveled to the Philippines, our longtime U.S. friend and ally. In Manila, the Secretary met with senior Philippine officials to discuss ways to build on our already-strong economic, security, and people-to-people relations. Then, the Secretary visited the storm-hit city of Tacloban to witness first-hand the recovery efforts that are taking place there and discuss how the United States can continue to contribute to the relief and reconstruction work.
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