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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs