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Bera and Castro Applaud Nomination of ASEAN Ambassador, Successful U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, and Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, released the following statement applauding President Joe Biden’s nomination of National Security Council Chief of Staff Yohannes Abraham to serve as United States Ambassador to ASEAN.

In December 2021, Reps. Bera and Castro led a bipartisan letter urging President Biden to promptly nominate a U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN, a position that has been vacant since January 2017.

“As Members of Congress committed to advancing the U.S. relationship with our Southeast Asian partners, we applaud President Biden for nominating Yohannes Abraham to serve as U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN. As a close national security advisor to the President, his appointment signals the importance and attention the Administration places on the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. Given the myriad challenges in the region, including the ongoing toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued crisis in Burma, and threats to security and economic prosperity, we urge the Senate to swiftly confirm this nomination without delay.

The nomination of a U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN is just one of several notable outcomes from the successful U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit hosted by the Biden Administration earlier this month. We are pleased with President Biden’s commitment of $150 million, on top of the $825 million included in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, to bolster the U.S.-ASEAN relationship with a focus on maritime security, climate change, and public health infrastructure.

We look forward to continued engagement with the Biden Administration, our partners in Southeast Asia, and the new Ambassador to prioritize the U.S-ASEAN relationship and this critical region of the world.”

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