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Asean summit opens in Phnom Penh


Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, far right, holds hands with ASEAN foreign ministers in traditional group photo session at the start of their meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Monday, April 2, 2012. The ministers are from left, Wunna Maung Lwin of Myanmar, K. Shanmugam of Singapore, Surapong Tovichakchaikul of Thailand, Pham Bihn Minh of Vietnam, Hor Namhong of Cambodia, Lim Jock Seng of Brunei, Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia, Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, Anifah Aman of Malaysia. AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—President Benigno Aquino III joined on Tuesday nine other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the opening of their two-day summit here at the Peace Palace.

The Asean leaders are also celebrating the 45th anniversary of the regional grouping that consists of the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Myanmar.

The President arrived at 9:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m. in Manila) here at the Peace Palace and was welcomed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife. They all shook hands and had a picture together.

The 51-year-old Mr. Aquino was the only one listed as  ”single” among the heads of government in a briefing material given to journalists covering the summit.

Three other Asean leaders were not accompanied to the summit by their spouses: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Myanmar President U Thein Seine and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

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