U.S. Defense secretary to visit Vietnam, Philippines

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee holds hearing on defense department’s budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies on the defense department’s budget request during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo

July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Vietnam and the Philippines later this month, the Pentagon said on Monday.

“Secretary Austin’s visit will demonstrate the importance the Biden-Harris Administration places on Southeast Asia and on ASEAN as an essential part of the Indo-Pacific’s architecture,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Sandra Maler)