U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will undertake an international tour from 3 to 7 June 2010. In Singapore, he will participate in the Shangri-La Dialogue, organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. On this occasion, he will hold bilateral consultations with officials from South Korea, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, New Zealand and Vietnam. He will then travel to Azerbaijan before returning via the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany.

In Brussels, he will attend a meeting of NATO defense ministers, which will address, inter alia, the question of the Israeli attack against Turkish ships (the Israelis also attacked Greek and U.S. vessels, but neither Athens nor Washington has approached the Alliance on the issue).

Robert Gates was due to make a detour through Beijing to sound out his Chinese counterpart on forging stronger relations between their two armies. However, Beijing sees no point in Gates’ visit given the support Washington extends to Tibetan separatists and to the Taiwan independence movement.