Source: Vientiane Times
Numerous foreign leaders have confirmed their attendance to the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and related meetings to be held back-to-back in Vientiane early next month .
US President Barack Obama, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye have so far been reported to have confirmed their attendance.
However, as of yesterday, the Asean Department under the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has not yet finalised the confirmations but said that leaders of the 10 Asean member countries will attend.
The Korea Herald reported last week that President Park Geun-hye will attend the Asean plus Three summit (Asean plus China, Japan and Republic of Korea) and the East Asia Summit.
The 18 members of the East Asia Summit include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia.
From September 8, President Park will be on a state visit to Laos, upon the invitation of Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith, marking the first official visit of a South Korean state leader to the country since the two nations resumed diplomatic relationships in 1995.
On September 9, the Lao and Korean leaders will hold a summit to seek cooperative measures in areas of mutual concern such as trade, investment, energy and development, and also exchange opinions on the Korean Peninsula agenda, it reported.
Ms Park will also attend a bilateral business forum and meet with South Korean nationals residing in Laos after the summit.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed his participation in next month’s summit, the Manila Times reported, citing Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.
“He (Duterte) has confirmed his participation in the summit this coming September in Vientiane, Laos,” Mr YasayJr was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The Straits Times quoted President Duterte as saying that the President will not raise the South China Sea issue during next month’s Asean summit, but disputes over these waters will have to figure into planned bilateral talks between Manila and Beijing.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest has confirmed that President Obama will travel to Laos early next month to advance Laos-US cooperation and attend the US-Asean Summit and the East Asia Summit.
During his historical trip to Laos, which will be the first visit to the country by a US President, Mr Obama will have bilateral meetings with Lao President BounnhangVorachit and other key officials to advance US -Lao cooperation on economic, development, and people-to-people ties.
During the Asean Summit, President Obama will discuss ways to strengthen economic cooperation with the countries of Southeast Asia and further enhance collaboration on regional and global challenges.
At the East Asia Summit, President Obama will coordinate with the region’s leaders on efforts to advance a rules-based international order.
Mr Obama also plans to highlight efforts to improve global opportunities for American businesses and the role that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could play in cementing US economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is expected that more than 5,000 leaders, official delegates, and business leaders, of whom 600 are foreign media personnel, will attend and cover the summits in Laos.