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US Secretary of State Tillerson leads diplomats attending Asean forum

/ 02:19 PM August 01, 2017

Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson gestures while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will lead the foreign ministers who will attend the 24th Asean Regional Forum (ARF) retreat and plenary to be held on August 7 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

In a press briefing at Malacañang on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said it is “normal” for foreign ministers, including the US Secretary of State, to meet with the chairperson of the Asean. The Philippines is chair of this year’s Asean summit.

Bolivar said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will lead the foreign ministers’ meetings during the period Aug. 2 to Aug. 8.

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“It’s normal for visiting foreign ministers to meet with the chair of Asean,” Bolivar said.

The US will participate in the ARF as a member of the participating countries.

Bolivar said he has yet to confirm if TIllerson and Cayetano will talk in a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Asean foreign ministers’ meetings.

“As of this point, we are still fixing the schedule of bilateral meetings. As soon as we have something confirmed, we’ll share it with you,” Bolivar said.

Bolivar said Cayetano will chair the 50th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, the 18th Asean Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (with Japan, China and Korea), the 7th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the 24th ARF.

During the same press briefing, National Capital Region Police Office Director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said the police has started securing the arrival of some 1,700 Asean delegates billeted in 21 hotels throughout Metro Manila.

Albayalde said the police has deployed 13,000 uniformed personnel with 1,286 attached personnel from other agencies, to secure the foreign ministers and other delegates who will be arriving.

READ: 13,000 police secure 1,700 Asean delegates in Manila 

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“Twenty-four delegates from some countries have already arrived. We have deployment in some billets in some hotels,” Albayalde said.

The police will also secure the Aug. 8 parade for the ceremonial lighting of the Asean lantern that would run from the kilometer zero in Rizal Park to the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“We have made walkthroughs since yesterday with the other security officers of Asean Ministers. And I think with all the preparations that we’ve made, the country is very much ready to host this 50th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,” Albayalde said.

During the ARF retreat, foreign ministers and representatives of ARF participating countries are expected to exchange views on the tensions in the Korean peninsula, terrorism and violent extremism, human trafficking and trafficking in illicit drugs, natural disasters, among others.

The ARF retreat would be followed by the ARF plenary, where the foreign ministers will discuss the adoption of the List of Track 1 Activities for the Inter-Sessional Year 2017-2018, as well as proposed ARF statements in addressing the drug problem, and on the prevention of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Cayetano would lead the 10 foreign ministers from the Asean region who would attend the ARF:

  • Brunei Darussalam – H.E. Pehin Dato’ Lim Jock Seng, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Cambodia – H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Senior Minister and Minister for MFAIC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  • Indonesia – H.E. Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Lao PDR – H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Malaysia – H.E. Dato’ Sri Anifah Hj Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Myanmar – H.E. U Kyaw Tin – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Singapore – H.E. Dr Vivian Balakrishnan – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Thailand – H.E. Don Pramudwinai – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Viet Nam – H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • ASEAN Secretariat – H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General

The ARF foreign ministers from participating countries are:

  • Australia – H.E. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Bangladesh – H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Canada – H.E. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada
  • China – H.E. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – H.E. Ri Yong-ho, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • European Union – H.E. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission European Commission
  • India – H.E. Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, Ministry of External Affairs
  • Japan – H.E. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mongolia – H.E. Tsend Munkh-Orgil, Minister for Foreign Affairs ,Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Republic of Korea – H.E. KANG Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs ,Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • New Zealand – H.E. Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Pakistan – H.E. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Papua New Guinea – H.E. Rimbink Pato, LLB, OBE, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Immigration
  • Russia – H.E. Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Sri Lanka – H.E. Ravi Karunanayake, M.P, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Timor-Leste – H.E. Hernani Coelho, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
  • United States – H.E. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State     JE
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TAGS: Asean Regional Forum, Foreign affairs, Rex Tillerson, Tillerson, United States Secretary of State
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