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Bush Invites ASEAN Leaders to Texas for Summit


President Bush has offered to host a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in his home state of Texas.

Mr. Bush issued the invitation Friday after a lunch meeting with seven leaders of the 10-member ASEAN bloc at an Asian economic summit in Australia.

The invitation would cover leaders from all ASEAN countries, including Burma.

Mr. Bush has recently described Burma's leaders as "tyrannical" and condemned the crackdown on pro-democracy activists there.

No date has been set for the summit, and it was not clear if Burma would accept the invitation.

The United States has recently been criticized for overlooking Asia because of its focus on Iraq and the Middle East. The invitation comes after Mr. Bush recently postponed a scheduled trip to Singapore to meet with ASEAN leaders.

Mr. Bush said discussions at the proposed Texas summit would include democracy issues, counterterrorism, and trade expansion.

During Friday's lunch meeting, President Bush also said he would soon be announcing an ambassador to ASEAN.

The 10-member states of ASEAN are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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