Duterte opens 31st Asean Summit in Manila

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte welcomed his fellow leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and its dialogue partners as they gathered in Manila on Monday.

Duterte, who chairs this year’s Asean Summit, presided over the opening ceremony of the 31st Asean Summit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City. The 31st Asean Summit also coincides with Asean’s 50th anniversary.

President Rodrigo Duterte opens the 31st Asean Summit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City on Monday, November 13, 2017.

The President, together with his partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, welcomed Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Duterte also welcomed the regional leaders and world leaders, who include United States President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and European Union President Donald Tusk.

Afterwards, the leaders will proceed to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) to participate in the following engagements: the 31st Asean Summit Plenary; the Asean-US Commemorative Summit; the 20th Asean-China Summit; the 19th Asean-Republic of Korea Summit; the 20th Asean-Japan Summit, and the 9th Asean-United Nations Summit.

On Tuesday, November 14, Duterte will chair the 20th Asean Plus 3 Summit, the Asean-Canada Commemorative Summit, the Asean-European Union Commemorative Summit, the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS), and the 15th Asean-India Summit.

At noon, the President will host a lunch in honor of the EAS heads of state and government and the guest of the Chairman.

In the afternoon, the Asean leaders will also attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the closing ceremony of the 31st Asean Summit and the handover of the chairmanship to the Republic of Singapore.

In the evening, President Duterte is expected to face the media to cap off the 31st Asean Summit and Related Meetings.

Later on Monday, the President will issue chairman statements for the Asean Summit, the Plus One, the Asesn Plus Three and the East Asia Summit.

The 10-member regional bloc was established in Bangkok, Thailand on August 8, 1967 when the five founding members—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—signed the Asean declaration.

The Asean Summit is the regional bloc’s highest policy-making body.

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