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PM Lee to attend ASEAN summits held via videoconference

PM Lee to attend ASEAN summits held via videoconference

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaking at a video conference on Oct 21, 2021. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will attend the 38th and 39th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits and related summits from Oct 26 to 28, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Monday (Oct 25). 

Mr Lee will lead the Singapore delegation at the summits, which will be held via video conference.

The meetings will see leaders discuss how ASEAN, together with its external partners and the international community, can continue to work towards building more resilient public health systems, supply chains and economies that can "emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and (be) better prepared for future crises". 

This is in line with Brunei's ASEAN Chairmanship theme of "We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper", said PMO in a press statement. 

The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international developments, efforts to strengthen regional cooperation, reinforce ASEAN centrality, as well as peace and stability. 

Additionally, the leaders will also meet with their counterparts during the 24th ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the 16th East Asia Summit. 

They will also meet with their counterparts in summits with Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. 

Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of Myanmar's military junta, is expected to be absent from the ASEAN summits, after a decision made by the bloc's foreign ministers to invite a "non-political representative" from the country instead. 

The decision was made at the Emergency ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Oct 15, which was called to address the failure of Myanmar's junta to adhere to a peace roadmap it had agreed to with ASEAN in April. 

Singapore supported the decision reached by the ministers, said the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a separate statement on Oct 16. 

However, the Myanmar junta has refused to agree to send a politically neutral representative instead of Min Aung Hlaing, said Reuters. 

Source: CNA/lk(rw)