Mongolia, Turkey want to join Asean

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said Turkey and Mongolia had expressed interest in joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which the Philippines is leading this year.

In a news conference upon his arrival in Davao City from Beijing, Duterte said he spoke with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat.

“By the way, I had a talk with the President Erdogan and the Prime Minister Erdenebat [of]Mongolia. Gusto nila na mag-sali sa Asean [They want to join Asean],” Duterte told reporters.

“Since I am now the chair, ang Pilipinas ngayon [it’s the Philippines as chairman now], they wanted me to sponsor their entry and I said, ‘Yes, why not?’” he added.


Apparently, however, the plan was politely questioned by Aung San Suu Kyi, state counsellor of Myanmar, who was also in China for the Beijing-led “Belt and Road” forum.

“[The woman], Aung San Suu Kyi, [she said], ‘Have you considered the physical – the geography whether they are part of the Asean or not?’ They are. I would say that they are,” Duterte said.

“Turkey, it seems to be ambivalent [on]whether to be a bridge to Europe and Asia or [be]an Asian [country]. [They are not clear on that]. There has always been an ambivalent view,” he added.

To date, there are 10 Asean member-states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

But non-Asean parties can join the meetings of the 10-member regional bloc as dialogue partners, sectoral dialogue partners, development partners, special observers, or guests.

Asean has dialogue partnerships with 10 parties: Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

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1 Comment

  1. Pilipinas Kong Mahal on

    Mongolia and Turkey are not within the South East Asia region. They can be regular observers but cannot join as ASEAN members. ASEAN should now admit East Timor. Palau and Papua New Guinea may join if they want.