Washington (FN), May 13 – President of the United States Joe Biden said that ASEAN is always in the heart of the US and the US is satisfied to upgrade ASEAN-US relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Biden spoke in front of Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, a rotating chair of ASEAN, and the leaders of other ASEAN member states.

Biden made the remarks at a banquet held at the White House on the evening of May 12.

At the reception, Biden said that the ASEAN-US Special Summit happened on the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN-US Dialogue Partnership.

“The special summit is being held in Washington, DC, and is a new page and a new era for US-ASEAN relations," Biden said.

“ASEAN is at the heart of the US in the Indo-Pacific framework. The US is pleased to promote the US-ASEAN strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership,” Biden added.

As ASEAN chair, premier Hun Sen thanked the US president for his warm hospitality to the premier and other leaders.

The premier added that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN-US Dialogue, and that is an appropriate time for ASEAN and US leaders to gather at the White House to commemorate the historic event of the long-term partnership with the US.

"Indeed, ASEAN-US cooperation, which is based on a strong and firm foundation of mutual respect, has yielded mutual benefits through a long journey and by successfully overcoming difficulties together,” said premier Hun Sen.

On that occasion, premier Hun Sen also shared his condolences with the US for the loss of Americans due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Samdech added that now ASEAN and the US have the opportunity to reflect on the long-term process that ASEAN-US will work together with efforts that will help strengthen relations in all fields.

As the chair of ASEAN Summit in 2022, Cambodia has chosen the theme "ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together". Based on this spirit, ASEAN has been working together to maintain peace and stability as well as promoting the implementation of sustainable and inclusive prosperity. In fact, we recognize the positive role of ASEAN's external partners, especially the US, the premier emphasized.

“In fact, we recognize the positive role of ASEAN's external partners, especially the US,” premier Hun Sen said in front of ASEAN and US leaders, adding that “ASEAN really appreciates what the US has done for the region."

Samdech invited Biden to attend the 10th ASEAN-US Summit to be held in Cambodia this upcoming November.

President of Indonesia, as the chair of the ASEAN-US Dialogue, said that ASEAN and the US will now continue to strengthen ties as well as cooperation, which will be upgraded from a strategic partner to a comprehensive strategic partner.

On that occasion, premier Hun Sen also emphasized that the US is playing an important role in the world, therefore if the US economy is good, the global economy is also good. In addition, the US has played a key role in the fight against COVID19 in terms of vaccine production.

Samdech also thanked Biden for providing vaccines to Cambodia, including 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 2 million doses of other type of vaccine, and also their promise to provide more than 5 million doses of vaccine for Cambodia in the future.