President Benigno S. Aquino III was welcomed by President of the United States Barack Obama at Sunnylands, California for the ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Summit. (Malacañang Photo Bureau)
CALIFORNIA, United States of America — US President Barack Obama and leaders of the ASEAN member countries will be discussing issues including the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
This year is the first time the ASEAN-US Summit is hosted by the United States which signifies the close alliance between the US and the ASEAN member states.
President Benigno Aquino III is among the attendees at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the US summit being held in Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, Southern California.
This is the last attendance of Pres. Aquino in the ASEAN-US summit before stepping down from office this year.
First in the agenda is the promotion of an innovative, entrepreneurial ASEAN economic community.
First to deliver his speech was US President Barack Obama who expressed his intention to return the gesture and hospitality that the ASEAN nations have given him during his visits.
Obama emphasized that the ASEAN is the fourth among the trading partners of the United States.
“This reflects my personal commitment, and the national commitment of the United States, to a strong and enduring partnership with your 10 nations.”
He stressed that the ASEAN-US summit is the proper venue to push a common goal towards a peaceful ASEAN region.
He added that the ASEAN nations should have a shared vision of rules and norms for resolving territorial disputes among countries.
“Here at the summit, we can reaffirm that strong, prosperous and inclusive societies require good governance, rule of law, accountable institutions, vibrant civil societies and upholding human rights.”
Obama also said that the support of all ASEAN nations is highly necessary to protect the rights of the people in the ASEAN region.
On the second day, leaders are expected to discuss the issues in line with protecting peace, prosperity, and security in the Asia-Pacific which will be followed by an official family photo of the ASEAN leaders together with Mr. Obama.
President Aquino will also meet with business leaders and corporate giants in Los Angeles. He is also scheduled to speak with the Filipino communities before going back to the Philippines. (CHRISTIE ROSACIA / UNTV News)