Schatz Welcomes Defense Secretary Hagel Hosting U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum in Hawaii

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel Has Invited Defense Leaders from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) welcomed news that the inaugural U.S.-hosted meeting of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Defense Ministers will take place in Hawai‘i this April.  U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has invited Senator Schatz to participate.

“Holding the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ meeting in Hawai‘i showcases our critical role in Asia and the Pacific.  As we continue to see, Hawai‘i is key to the United States’ strategic pivot to Asia.  This will be the first time a Secretary has hosted all of his ASEAN counterparts in the U.S. and it shows the importance of these countries in the region, politically, economically, and on a national security level,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz.  “Secretary of Defense Hagel hosting these leaders in Hawai‘i is great news for our state.  As Lieutenant Governor, I was closely involved when Hawai‘i hosted the APEC summit in 2011, which clearly demonstrated that Hawai‘i could tackle the security challenges of a high-level summit, and this defense meeting will provide further proof that Hawai‘i continues to be a prime location to host national and international meetings that will bring in revenue for the state.  I look forward to participating and working with Secretary Hagel to make this event in Hawai‘i a success.”

In June, Senator Schatz welcomed Secretary Hagel’s initial proposal to hold the ASEAN Defense Ministers in Hawai‘i.  The previous two U.S.-ASEAN defense dialogues have been held in Cambodia and Brunei.