President Rodrigo Duterte opened the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit by asserting the group’s policy of non-interference.
In his speech, Duterte highlighted the importance of keeping the regional bloc’s independence.
“Let me say again: relations bear fruit when they are based on mutual respect and benefit,” the President said.
He added that dialogue is more productive “if the valued principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the Asean member states is observed.”
Duterte then urged Asean member states to assert the group’s position in the international arena.
“It is time, and the time is right, to finally assert with conviction its position in the international arena,” the President said. Catherine Valente