Office of the SpokespersonU.S. Department of State January 26, 2024
Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard R. Verma will travel to Suva, Fiji; Canberra, Australia; Sydney, Australia; and Jakarta, Indonesia, from January 29 to February 2. During his visit, Deputy Secretary Verma will focus on deepening critical relationships with U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. He will also advance the United States affirmative vision for a secure and inclusive cyberspace while discussing efforts to meet demand for cyber and digital capacity building in the region.
In Fiji and Australia, U.S. Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy Nathaniel C. Fick will accompany Deputy Secretary Verma. In Suva, they will meet with government officials and digital industry representatives to discuss secure and trusted information and communications technology infrastructure.
In Canberra, Deputy Secretary Verma will meet with senior Australian officials to coordinate U.S.-Australia efforts in the Indo-Pacific, including on cyber initiatives. The Deputy Secretary will also meet with U.S. Embassy staff to hear their perspectives on what is important to them, as well as the salient bilateral and regional issues.
In Sydney, Deputy Secretary Verma and Ambassador Fick will meet with academic and private sector leaders to enhance cooperation on emerging technologies and advanced telecommunications for the benefit of the region.
In Jakarta, following the recent upgrade of U.S.-Indonesia ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Deputy Secretary Verma will meet senior Indonesian officials to discuss how to further capitalize on the strong U.S.-Indonesia partnership. He will deliver remarks at U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s premier cultural center @america, highlighting the United States’ continuing commitment to the Indo-Pacific region as we commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. He will also discuss our ongoing investment in Indonesia and the region’s success through initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), the Millenium Challenge Corporation Compacts, and a range of projects funded by the Development Finance Corporation.
Also, while in Jakarta, as part of the ongoing U.S. commitment as a Comprehensive Strategic Partner to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Deputy Secretary also will meet with several of the permanent representatives to ASEAN to highlight the U.S. support for the Laos Chair Year, including through cooperation on digital economy, artificial intelligence, and cyber issues and to reaffirm ASEAN centrality.