PM Lee to attend ASEAN summits and related meetings in Cambodia

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will attend the 40th and 41st ASEAN summits and related summits from Thursday to Sunday.

He will lead the Singapore delegation in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Thursday.

This is the first time ASEAN is holding the event in-person since the Covid-19 pandemic. The summit in 2020, chaired by Vietnam, and the 2021 summit, chaired by Brunei, were held online.

PMO said the meetings this year will see leaders discuss how the regional grouping can continue to uphold the spirit of collective endeavor in the promotion of peace, prosperity and stability in the region as they look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It added that as the grouping marks its 55th anniversary this year, the leaders will also take stock of its achievements and chart the way forward in efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and reinforce ASEAN centrality, while responding effectively to regional and global challenges.

ASEAN centrality is a concept that refers to the regional grouping being in the driver’s seat and shaping key decisions affecting South-east Asia, instead of having the region’s fortunes determined by external parties.

The leaders will exchange views on regional and international developments, including the worsening situation in Myanmar, PMO said.

There has been limited progress on ASEAN’s “five-point consensus” peace plan to end the turmoil in Myanmar, which was triggered by a February 2021 military coup and has killed thousands of civilians.

Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and his foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin have been shut out of top-level ASEAN summits, and only a “non-political representative” has been invited to these meetings.

The ASEAN leaders will meet their counterparts from Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States this week.

The ASEAN leaders will also attend two large-group meetings:

the ASEAN Plus Three Summit with their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea; and

the 17th East Asia Summit, which includes Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

US President Joe Biden, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba are among leaders who are expected to be in Phnom Penh.

The closing ceremony of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings is set for Sunday, along with the handover of the ASEAN chairmanship to Indonesia for 2023.

PMO said PM Lee will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, as well as officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be the Acting Prime Minister in PM Lee’s absence.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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