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 Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid