News / Asia

Obama, ASEAN Leaders Meet in New York

President Barack Obama and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have met in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session. The U.S. and ASEAN committed to strengthening relations, and underscored the growing strategic importance of the relationship.

A White House readout of what was only the second U.S.-ASEAN summit - the first was in Singapore last year -  focused on economic as well as global and regional issues, including non-proliferation, counter-terrorism efforts and climate change.

The statement said the prosperity of the U.S. and ASEAN are "increasingly intertwined", noting that ASEAN economies together comprise the fourth largest export market for the U.S., with $146 billion in total two-way trade in 2009.

ASEAN leaders briefed Mr. Obama on the planned ASEAN Economic Community, to establish a single market and production base by 2015.  President Obama, the statement said, pledged additional help in support of this goal.

The president said the U.S. as a Pacific nation has an enormous stake in the ASEAN region. "We need partnerships with Asian nations to meet the challenges of our growing economy, preventing proliferation and addressing climate change.  As president I have therefore made it clear that the U.S. intends to play a leadership role in Asia.  So we have strengthened old alliances, we have deepened new partnerships, as we are doing with China, and we have re-engaged with regional organizations, including ASEAN," he said.

Mr. Obama said he has accepted the ASEAN invitation to attend the East Asia Summit, scheduled for Jakarta next year. That would be Mr. Obama's second visit to Indonesia as president, after one scheduled for November on his way to a G-20 Summit in South Korea and the APEC Summit in Japan.

Vietnam's President, Nguyen Minh Triet, spoke through an interpreter as the current chairman of ASEAN. "Vietnam and ASEAN always support the deepening of the relations between ASEAN and the U.S., bilaterally and multilaterally and we want to take our relations to the next level toward greater comprhensiveness and more substance for the peace, stability and development or our region," he said.

Though not mentioned in the brief public speeches, North Korea, and Burma figured prominently in Friday's talks.

The White House said Mr. Obama renewed his call on Burma's military government to embark on a process of national reconciliation by releasing all political prisoners, including democracy figure Aung San Suu Kyi, and holding free and fair elections in November.

In a separate joint statement, ASEAN leaders reiterated a call for the elections in Burma to be conducted in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner in order to be credible for the international community.

They also welcomed what they called the continued U.S. engagement with Burma's military government, saying they hope this will encourage Burma to undertake political and economic reforms to facilitate national reconciliation.

On North Korea, the U.S. and ASEAN reaffirm the importance of implementing U.N. Security Council resolutions.  They call on Pyongyang to implement Six Party Talks commitments to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

The joint statement said Obama and ASEAN leaders also agreed on the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes in the region, freedom of navigation,stability, and respect for international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international maritime law. The White House summary said this included the South China Sea.

The White House noted on Friday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will take part in an initial East Asia Summit meeting in Hanoi at the end of October, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates will attend a meeting of Asia-Pacific defense ministers in Hanoi, also next month.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs