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Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout: 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded his visit to Cambodia today where he attended the 9th ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, which every U.S. Secretary of Defense has participated in since the group’s inception. During the ADMM-Plus, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to working with ASEAN to address the complex set of challenges confronting the region today — from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to maritime security threats. The Secretary expressed concern about ongoing provocations and unsafe operational behavior, especially in the South China Sea. He welcomed the steps taken by numerous ADMM-Plus member states to address dangerous and provocative actions taken by North Korea, Myanmar, and Russia, which threaten regional peace and security. 


Secretary Austin highlighted the steps the Department is taking alongside partners to bring greater transparency and openness to the region, such as through co-chairing the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security with Thailand. He also underscored the United States’ investments in the region’s future leadership, including through a new initiative that will provide emerging Southeast Asian defense leaders with unprecedented opportunities for training and professional military education. 

Secretary Austin met with the Cambodian Defense Minister, who hosted the ADMM-Plus, and held bilateral engagements with the Defense Ministers of Vietnam, India, the Philippines, and the People’s Republic of China. Throughout his visit, he reiterated the United States’ deep commitment to working alongside allies and partners to support our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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