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Bush to meet Asean leaders in Sept
June 3, 2007

United States President George W Bush has agreed to meet with Asean
leaders in Singapore, ahead of the Apec leaders meeting at Sydney in

The Bangkok-based English-language daily The Nation quoted a source as
saying the summit on September 5 would commemorate 30 years of US-Asean
relations. The Asean bloc was formed 40 years ago.

The meeting was agreed during a recent visit to Washington by Singapore
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Bush met with Asean leaders on the sides
of previous Apec conferences, including the one in Busan, South Korea in

Asean wants to establish an Asean-plus-one process that includes key major
powers including China, India and Russia as dialogue partners. The source
could not confirm the inaugural Asean-US summit would be
institutionalised. Although both sides enjoy coopertion and have
established seven frameworks, in comparison, China and Asean have 48.

Thai Prime Minister General Surayud Chulanont will attend and is scheduled
to meet with Bush. This was discussed during the visit of Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill to
Thailand. Thai-US ties suffered following the coup last September. US
lawmakers criticised Thailand and expressed concern over the restriction
of press freedoms in the country.

The source said Myanmar (Burma) would be included in the Singapore
meeting. At previous meetings, junior-level officials represented Burma.
The Nation


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