JAKARTA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the ASEAN Secretariat on Tuesday, emphasizing the United States' commitment to see ASEAN continuing its growth as a vibrant, open region that is committed to regional and global peace and prosperity, a statement released by the ASEAN Secretariat said.
During her second visit to the secretariat, Clinton had a meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan.
Calling Clinton "a friend of many ASEAN leaders," Surin said, " She delivered on her words. She has never missed our major gatherings, and she has added more colors and luster to our region 's diplomacy. She has turned her counterparts into 'friends'. And friendship is something that we in ASEAN value very highly."
While emphasizing her country's commitment, Clinton said she believed the ASEAN-United States relationship is stronger and more effective, adding that the United States views ASEAN as central to regional stability and economic progress in Asia Pacific.
"The United States believes in ASEAN centrality which is essential to ASEAN unity," and the United States wants to advance ASEAN's goal of integration, because it has have an interest in strengthening ASEAN's ability in addressing regional challenges in an effective, comprehensive way, she said.
"We really invite and need ASEAN to crafting regional responses to challenges like climate change and transnational crime, which requires collective efforts," she said.
Before her meeting with Surin, Clinton met Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the presidential palace. The visit to Jakarta was part of her official tour to six Asian countries prior to her presence at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia this month.