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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs