MANILA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrived here Sunday to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits which kick-off today.
The plane carrying Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, touched down at the Clark International Airport base near here at 12.39pm local time .
The couple, flying in from Da Nang, Vietnam after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, were received by, among others Catalino Salandanan Cuy, Officer in Charge, Department of Interior and Local Government of the Philippines and Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines, Datuk Raszlan Abdul Rashid.
The prime minister is leading the Malaysian delegation to the second of the two leaders-level summits the Philippines is hosting this year as part of its chairmanship before handing over the reins to Singapore.
The Malaysian delegation includes Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Najib is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe later today, before attending the special gala celebration dinner in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
President Rodrigo Duterte is chairing the Summits, with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, which reflects Manila’s advocacy to promote unity with and among the 10 Asean member states and its global partners.
The leaders will discuss regional and international issues of common concern such as the South China Sea, Rohingya refugee crisis, Korean Peninsula tension, counter-terrorism and violent extremism and cyber digital economy.
World leaders who will be attending the Manila Summits include United States President Donald Trump, Premier Li Keqiang of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia.
European Council President Donald Tusk of the European Union and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are also scheduled to attend the summits.
Trump told a press conference in Hanoi today that he was looking forward to attending the ASEAN Summit, saying that it is going to be a very special meeting, adding that the North Korean threat and provocations would be one of the major issues to be discussed during his visit to Manila.
The Manila gathering will see a total of 11 Summits and is expected to adopt 56 outcome documents, including the non-legally binding ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. – BERNAMA