Saturday, 14 November 2009

PGMA to speak for ASEAN in dialogue with US

SINGAPORE (PND) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will speak on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a dialogue with the Unites States.

As coordinator for ASEAN, Mrs. Arroyo, during the ASEAN-US Summit, will sit beside US President Barack Obama, the first American president to meet all ten ASEAN leaders all at one time in the 32-year history of ASEAN-U.S. relations.

The meeting between Obama and the ASEAN leaders would take about at least an hour.

In an interview with Filipino reporters here, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo said the President, in behalf of the other leaders, will reaffirm the ASEAN-US partnership to achieve enduring peace and prosperity in the region.

The Philippines was chosen by other members of ASEAN to voice out their collective concerns to the US. The country will hold that position until 2012.

The Philippines will work closely with the US and other ASEAN member countries to ensure implementation of various programs on trade and investments, disaster management, and climate change adaptation, among others concerns.

Mrs. Arroyo will be the fourth speaker after the welcome remarks of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the opening remarks of Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and Obama, respectively.

She will speak specifically on what needs to be done to improve the US-ASEAN Plan of Action that was signed five years ago.

ASEAN will review what has transpired since and prepare for a new five-year partnership.

The ASEAN leaders and Obama will come up with a joint statement at the end of the summit.

Last week, senior ASEAN and US officials held a two-day ASEAN-US Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) in Manila to set the stage for the 1st ASEAN-US Leaders’ meeting here.

In the last 19 years, ASEAN and US officials have been holding annual dialogues to promote trade and investments and deepen political, socio-economic and cultural ties.

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