Joe Biden wants pact with ASEAN on 'biggest issues'

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Joe Biden wants a pact with ASEAN on “biggest issues”

US President Joe Biden took the speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cambodia. “Together, we will tackle the biggest issues of our time, from climate to health security,” Biden said at the opening of the meeting.

Southeast Asian heads of government spoke on Saturday with leaders from other parts of the world, including US President Joe Biden, who hailed the start of a new pact between the United States and ASEAN as a crucial step in solving “the biggest problems of our time”.

During his first visit to Southeast Asia as president, Joe Biden said the region was central to his administration's Indo-Pacific strategy and that Washington was committing resources, not just rhetoric, to the region. framework of a new comprehensive strategic partnership.

Together we will tackle the biggest issues of our time, from climate to health security, he said at the opening of a meeting in Cambodia with the leaders of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

We will build a free and open, stable and prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific, he added.

ASEAN meeting brings together multitude of leaders , including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

This event is the first in a series of summits to be held in Southeast Asia over the next seven days, where sensitive global topics such as the war in Ukraine, climate and tensions are expected to be discussed. regarding the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and North Korean missile launches.

Joe Biden's presence comes at a time when the United States seeks to reaffirm its commitment to the region, after a period of uncertainty under the presidency of Donald Trump and in a context where China is itself trying to ;increase its influence.

China and ASEAN announced deepening ties under a comprehensive strategic partnership last year.

Leaders from around the world will attend an East Asia summit in Phnom Penh on Sunday, ahead of a business gathering and a G20 leaders summit in Bali next week. They will then meet in Bangkok on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

During these meetings, Joe Biden will will focus on the Indo-Pacific region and speak to the United States' commitment to a rules-based order in the South China Sea, a senior U.S. administration official said in a statement. beginning of the week.

Some analysts, however, played down expectations raised by Joe Biden's presence, saying it demonstrates the US's return to normal diplomacy, including strengthening strategic ties with ASEAN.

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On Saturday, the US president said the meetings would focus on Russia's brutal war on Ukraine, as well as US efforts to confront to the global impact of the conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is attending the events on behalf of President Vladimir Putin, while the Indonesian hosts have confirmed on Saturday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would speak remotely at the G20 meeting.

Ukraine is seeking to strengthen its engagement with the ;ASEAN and its Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kouleba, ask the leaders of the Assoc ation to condemn Russia's invasion of the country, warning them that remaining neutral is not in their interests.

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