U.S. to refocus on Asia-Pacific region

May 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM
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HONOLULU, May 30 (UPI) -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta headed to Asia Wednesday to discuss the United States' new military strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, the department said.

Panetta will meet with Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, at Pacom's headquarters in Honolulu, before traveling to Singapore to give a policy speech on the strategic guidance at an annual Asian security conference.

While Panetta would welcome meetings with Chinese counterparts at the meeting, it was unclear whether that would be possible, a Pentagon official said Tuesday. Meetings with defense officials from Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and other nations are scheduled.

He will then travel to Vietnam, where he will work with Vietnamese officials to discuss how to strengthen military-to-military ties.

The weeklong trip will wrap up in Delhi, India, where he will meet with a number of Indian officials.

"U.S.-India defense ties are extremely important in a whole host of ways," a Pentagon official said in a Defense Department release. "Strategically, we see India as a partner with whom we have a lot of common interests and a lot of areas where we can work well together."

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