Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen, Abhisit and ASEAN leaders to meet Obama

Hun Sen, Abhisit and ASEAN leaders to meet Obama

Hun Sen, Abhisit and ASEAN leaders to meet Obama

THE White House has announced that United States President Barack Obama will meet Southeast Asian leaders this month in New York as America tries to bolster its role in a region facing a rising China.

The gathering may also provide a chance for Prime Minister Hun Sen to meet Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, but officials from both countries said private talks between the two had not yet been scheduled.

The White House said on Friday that Obama would hold talks with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in New York on September 24, during the annual United Nations General Assembly.

The New York meeting will follow the inaugural summit that Obama held last year in Singapore with his counterparts from ASEAN, as he seeks to reinvigorate US engagement with the bloc.

The Bangkok Post reported on Friday that Ongart Klampaiboon, Abhisit’s office minister, said following a meeting with Hun Sen that the Cambodian premier was prepared to meet Abhisit in New York. Yesterday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said there was “no official information” about such a meeting.

Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn also said that no meeting had been scheduled with Hun Sen, but that Abhisit “hopes to see [Hun Sen] as soon as possible”. Cambodia and Thailand restored full diplomatic ties last month after the resignation of fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from his position as economics adviser to the Cambodian government.

Abhisit and Hun Sen have said they intend to meet on the sidelines of October’s Asia-Europe Meeting in Belgium.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first spoke of the second ASEAN summit when she visited Vietnam in July, In Hanoi, Clinton called for open access to the South China Sea – an area of growing tension between China and Southeast Asian nations, particularly Vietnam. China rebuked Clinton for her remarks.

The coming elections in Myanmar, scheduled for November, are also likely be a critical issue in the talks.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at