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Aquino arrives in Myanmar for Asean summit

/ 01:26 AM November 12, 2014
benigno aquino

President Benigno Aquino III. AP

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar–President Aquino arrived late night Tuesday (a little past midnight Wednesday, Manila time) to participate in the two-day 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit to be held in Myanmar’s new capital.

The chartered Philippines Airlines plane that carried the President and his official party touched down at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport at 11:08 p.m. local time (12:38 a.m. in Manila).

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They had a five-hour plane ride straight from Beijing, China, where Aquino attended the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras and Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma arrived here a day ahead of the President.

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Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar Alex Chua led the official welcome party, along with defense and armed forces attache Colonel Edgardo de Leon.

From the host country, Myanmar’s Union Minister and his spouse, protocol director general Thurin Thant Zin of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar Ambassador to the Philippines Ye Myint Aung, presidential liaison officer Han Win Nain and presidential security officer Police Colonel Tun Naing welcomed the Philippine leader.

Aquino and his party motored for about 15 minutes to reach his appointed residence, the presidential villa at the sprawling Horizon Lake View Hotel compound.

The hotel is a five-minute ride away from the summit venue, the Myanmar International Convention Center.

The President only has 10 hours to rest and prepare before the opening ceremony of the 25th Asean Summit at 9 a.m. Wednesday (10:30 a.m. in Manila). He will also attend on Thursday the 9th East Asia Summit.

He is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday.

Japan and Australia, which are major security partners of the Philippines, are among Asean’s nine dialogue partners.

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In the next two days, the President will sit down for high-level talks with fellow Asean leaders Myanmar President Thein Sein,  Brunei Darussalam King Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, newly elected Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Also participating in the East Asia summit are United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, United States President Barack Obama, China’s Premier Li Keqiang, India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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TAGS: Asean Summit, Benigno Aquino III, East Asian summit, Myanmar
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