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ASEAN Summit in Vietnam Postponed Until end-June Over Coronavirus

FILE - Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poses for a group photo with ASEAN leaders during an ASEAN-Japan summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Nov. 4, 2019.

A summit of Southeast Asian and other international leaders scheduled in Vietnam early next month has been postponed until end-June due to worries about coronavirus, Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has informed leaders of other Southeast Asian countries about the postponement, the ministry said.

The 36th summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had been scheduled to take place on April 6-9 in Vietnam, the group's chair this year.

The postponement decision came after Vietnam announced on March 17 that it would introduce mandatory quarantine for all visitors from the United States, Europe and ASEAN countries and suspend the issue of new visas for all foreign nationals.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 9,000 people worldwide and infected 76 people in Vietnam as of late Thursday, already forced a meeting between ASEAN and the United States slated for March 14.

The ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.