Duterte opens 31st Asean Summit in Manila
President Rodrigo Duterte spearheaded on Monday the opening of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Meetings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The heads of state and leaders of the Asean, a 10-member regional bloc, were in full force: Myanmar state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak.
During the two day summit, Duterte is expected to preside over various meetings with Asean member-states and dialogue partners over political and security concerns, including pressing threats to regional peace and stability, particularly the maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
Duterte, on Sunday night, had welcomed the regional leaders as well as world leaders such as United States President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and European Union President Donald Tusk in a gala dinner at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
In his message during the gala dinner in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Asean, Duterte hoped for “constructive and substantive” discussions with the regional leaders and dialogue partners.
“I look forward to having constructive and substantive discussions with Your Majesty and Your Excellencies in our upcoming meetings. Let us start on a positive note with tonight’s celebration of Asean’s 50 years,” he said.
The 31st Asean Summit would be concluded on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, with closing ceremonies and the formal handover of the Asean chairmanship by the Philippines to Singapore. /kga
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