Leaders arrive in Myanmar for ASEAN summit

Leaders arrive in Myanmar for ASEAN summit

31Nay Pyi Taw, May 10 (IANS)┬áLeaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have started arriving in Myanmar Saturday to attend meetings that will focus on many issues including Thailand’s political crisis, an official said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be the next chair of the Southeast Asian bloc, will lead a delegation from his country, Xinhua reported.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, and senior government officials.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah will also attend the 24th ASEAN Summit.

Senior officials from government agencies have begun the task of setting the agenda for the two-day summit, themed “Moving Forward to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”.

ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh told reporters that the grouping would emphasise on peace and stability that was absolutely critical for the region’s growth.

“We are concerned that if this situation, this (political) crisis, prolongs in Thailand, that will affect ASEAN’s community building efforts.”

Minh also noted that he was looking forward to beginning “substantive consultations” between ASEAN and China on the South China Sea issue.

During the summit, the leaders are expected to adopt the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015, and emphasise the implementation of the remaining action lines under the ASEAN Community roadmap.

The leaders are also to take note of five documents, namely, the reports of the ASEAN Political Security Community Council, the ASEAN Economic Community Council, the ASEAN Social and Cultural Community Council, the secretary General of ASEAN report on the work of ASEAN, and executive director’s report on the ASEAN Foundation.

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