VIENTIANE, Lao PDR, Sept. 7 (PNA) — Wednesday is an exciting day at the 28th and 29th ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nation) Summit with various meetings and dialogues amongst the members of the ASEAN and leaders of other top countries of the world, including the much awaited Gala Dinner where President Rodrigo Duterte and United States President Barack Obama will meet face to face for the first time.
The media from all over the world, including from the Philippines, are excited as they await the event where the two leaders will possibly say something positive after the two nations mutually agreed to move the scheduled bilateral meeting to a later date.
Presidents Duterte and Obama will be seated next to each other, which expectedly, all cameras will focus on them to deliver to the world the encounter of the two. Incidentally, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is also seated on the other side of President Duterte.
The ASEAN summit is the first foreign trip of President Duterte after his inauguration last June 30.
On Tuesday, the leaders of the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) met for the opening of the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit here, three of them- President Duterte, Myanmar Prime Minister Aung san Suu Kyi and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguen Tan Dung being first time attendees. Lao PDR, the Chair of this year’s ASEAN summit adopted the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community.”
The ASEAN Summit, scheduled from September 6 to 8, brings together Leaders of the AMS – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Lao PDR and the Philippines.
Lao PDR’s Prime Minister Thounglough Sisoulith will turnover to Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte the Chairmanship of ASEAN which will commence on January 1, 2017.
The Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Association. Aside from holding various ASEAN meetings, the country will hold activities during its chairmanship to mark this milestone.
Before President Rodrigo Duterte left the country on Monday, he said his attendance is aimed at pushing forward a focus on peace, security, stability and prosperity of the entire region.
While in Vientiane, President Duterte meets his ASEAN counterparts to discuss the focus of his administration in relation to the Philippines’ thrusts to contribute to ASEAN community-building.
On Tuesday, President Duterte met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
ASEAN is guided by fundamental principles which includes mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations; the right of every state to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion; non-interference in the internal affairs of one another; peaceful and rules-based settlement of disputes; renunciation of the threat or use of force and an effective cooperation among themselves.
Today, the leaders met early for the retreat session to discuss the various issues affecting the region.
The 10-nation ASEAN will also meet in separate sessions with China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the United Nations. (PNA)