Friday, February 12, 2016

Pres.Aquino to attend special ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III will attend a special summit between the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States (US) in Sunnylands, California next week, a Foreign Affairs official announced on Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Hellen Barber-dela Vega said the President will be leaving on Monday (February 15) to join fellow ASEAN leaders in a summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama.

"President Aquino will leave for the US on 15 February 2016 to attend the ASEAN-US Leaders’ Summit in Sunnylands, California," said dela Vega, who heads the Department of Foreign Affairs' Office of ASEAN Affairs.

"This summit was proposed by President Obama during the third ASEAN-US Summit held in Kuala Lumpur on 21 November 2015, following the decision of the leaders to elevate the ASEAN-US dialogue relations to strategic partner level," she added.

Dela Vega noted that it will be the first meeting between the ASEAN and the US as strategic partners.

"The summit aims to explore how ASEAN and the US, after elevating their relations to strategic partnership level, can work more effectively together; and especially now with the establishment of the ASEAN community," she said.

Dela Vega said the summit would be like a retreat where the leaders would have the opportunity to discuss economic and political issues.

"It's really more like (an) open, informal and less-structured atmosphere," she said.

On economic issues, she said, more likely to be discussed is how the US could support the ASEAN integration process.

On political issues, leaders are expected to tackle such issues as maritime security, transnational challenges and countering violent extremism, she added.

"We expect leaders to be free and to raise any issues that might be of interest to them," dela Vega said.

After the summit, the President will embark on a one-day working visit to Los Angeles, California.

He will be meeting with some top business leaders and the Filipino community in Los Angeles.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Austria further said that President Aquino will be presented with an honorary degree in Humane Letters by the Loyola Marymount University in recognition of his achievements as President of the Philippines, "for his integrity and for embodying the spirit of the Jesuit education". (PCOO News Release)

No comments:

Post a Comment