Aquino heads to Malaysia for 26th Asean Summit
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Philippine President Benigno Aquino III is set to arrive here Sunday afternoon to attend the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
Aquino, who will arrive at around 3 p.m., will meet other heads of state to discuss the Asean integration, which seeks to establish a single production and market base in the region, and other topics.
“Isa rin sa maaaring pag-usapan ang pagkakaroon ng iisang posisyon hinggil nagaganap na reklamasyon ng China sa West Philippine Sea at South China Sea (One of the topics that may be discussed is having a united position on China’s reclamation in West Philippine Sea and South China Sea),” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
He said the Asean nations will seek to forge stronger ties through the so-called pillars of cooperation: the Asean political-security community, the Asean economic community, and the Asean socio-cultural community.
Aquino will meet with the leaders of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Brunei.
On Sunday he will meet with representatives of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Asean Business Advisory Council, the Asean youth and civil society organizations. He will also attend the 11th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth (BIMP-EAGA) Summit.
Meeting with Vietnam, Malaysia
Aquino will have a bilateral meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, another Asian leader who has been vocal on the efforts of China to reclaim parts of South China Sea within the exclusive economic zone of other countries.
The Philippines and Malaysia are working on a strategic partnership agreement amid China’s aggressive actions in South China Sea.
Coloma said Aquino might also have the opportunity to speak with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. If the meeting pushes through, he said the president will raise the issue of a Filipino, Mary Jane Veloso, in death row.
Veloso is set to be executed on Tuesday, the last day of the summit. Aquino has reportedly sent letters to the Indonesian government to appeal for her life. DPL
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