Obama keen on Asean-US summit
has confirmed to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva that he would like the first ever Asean-US Summit to take place in Singapore later this year.
The two leaders met prior |to the G-20 Summit session |on Friday at the David L Lawrence Convention Centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Abhisit welcomed Obama’s keen interest in Asean-US relations.
“It will commemorate the most productive and enduring relationship Asean has with its dialogue partners,” he said, according to a source attending the meeting.
Thailand currently holds the Asean chair and the PM was representing the grouping at the G-20 Summit.The source said the US |president had also informed Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, who was accompanying Abhisit, that he would like |to see US-Asean engagement becoming even more productive and meaningful in all areas.
This came one day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made public at a Friends of Burma meeting at the United Nations that there would be a review of US-Burma relations.
“The president appears to be very keen and very clear about his desire to see our partnership moving onto a higher plane. That is very encouraging and gratifying indeed,” said Surin when asked via e-mail about Obama’s comments to Abhisit.
Since the Asean meeting in Phuket in late July, Asean and US diplomats have been engaged in a frenzy of activity to improve the Asean-US dialogue partnership, which is 32 years old.
A new momentum toward better relations has gained pace since the new US administration came into power in January. Clinton’s visit to the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta in February – the first ever by a US secretary of state – promised a reversal in the long-standing US low-profile engagement with the grouping.
The US in July signed an agreement to accede to the Asean Treaty of Amity and Cooperation after 17 years of consideration. The accession has increased mutual confidence between Asean and the US. continue