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Cambodia to lead forthcoming ASEAN Summit with responsibilities: PM Hun Sen

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday the country is proud of leading the upcoming 21st ASEAN Summit and related Summits and pledged to chair the Summits with responsibilities.

“We proudly host the ASEAN Summits, and we will chair them with responsibilities in all tasks,” he said in a ceremony to deliver land titles to residents in Siem Reap province.

The country sets to host the 21st ASEAN Summit and related Summits from Nov. 18-20 at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

The premier said that there will be the 21st ASEAN Summit, ASEAN+3 Summit, ASEAN+1 Summit and the 7th East Asia Summit.

The Summits will bring together all ASEAN leaders and dialogue country leaders including newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

Hun Sen said that among those leaders, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will make his official visit to Cambodia on Nov. 18 and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will be on Nov. 20.

As of Monday, the agendas of the forthcoming Summits are not released, but analysts envisaged that the Summits will touch on a number of issues including economics, trade, security, human rights, environment and climate change.

“Economic issues, particularly narrowing the development gap and economic integration facilitation, will be the core issue,” Dr. Chheang Vannarith, executive director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, which closely works with ASEAN, told Xinhua in an interview.

He added that other issues will include ASEAN human rights declaration, ASEAN regional demining center, and other regional security issues of common concern such as ethnic and religious tensions in Myanmar, South China Sea, East China Sea, and the peace process in the Philippines.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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