Jakarta (ANTARA) - The United States (US) Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Yohannes Abraham highlighted the US government's commitment to ASEAN centrality.

"ASEAN centrality is at the core of his (US President's) strategy for the Indo-Pacific," Ambassador Abraham stated in a special interview with ANTARA here on Friday.

Abraham made this statement in response to questions on US President Joe Biden's absence at the 43rd ASEAN Summit that will be held on September 5-7 in Jakarta.

Despite President Biden's non-attendance at the 43rd ASEAN Summit, he affirmed that the US Government remains committed to supporting ASEAN centrality.

This was evident from the special summit that Biden held in Washington D.C. and his visit to Cambodia and Indonesia last year.

Meanwhile, for the Vice President Kamala Harris, this trip will be her third trip to the region, and Indonesia will be her fifth ASEAN member state. ​​​​​​

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Abraham further stated that there are, in fact, only a handful of countries, less than 10 nations around the world, that have received visits from the US president and vice president.

"And I am very grateful that the two countries are in Southeast Asia, and one of them is Indonesia," he remarked.

“So, I think the administration has been crystal clear about our commitment to ASEAN centrality and that starts at the top with the President," he affirmed.

Abraham said during these visits, the US president and vice president strive to find ways to work more closely with the ASEAN, and the US commitment to ASEAN is not only shown by the president and his vice president but also US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has made visits throughout Southeast Asia.

Not only the foreign affairs minister, but the defense minister, trade minister, finance minister, US minister of health and human services, US trade representative, and US special envoy for climate change also demonstrated the US' commitment to ASEAN.

"All of them have spent time in the region, in ASEAN member countries. Many of them working through ASEAN mechanisms," Abraham stated.

"That, to me, is an illustration of how deeply committed the US Government is to ASEAN and to Indonesia," he affirmed.

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Reporter: Katriana
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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