US President Barack Obama will meet with leaders of 10 countries in Southeast Asia next week in an attempt to coordinate with the region US interests ranging from security to trade, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Participants in the two-day summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that begins Monday in southern California will discuss business and trade ties, terrorism and regional irritants such as Beijing’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea, US officials said.
The summit, which they said will be informal and less scripted than a normal summit, comes as the US and China, the region’s dominant economic, political and military power, vie for influence among ASEAN’s 10 member countries.
The meeting will let Obama showcase the emphasis the United States places on Asia, US officials said.
“This is an opportunity for leaders to close the door and have an in-depth conversation,” said Daniel Russel, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
Last year, Obama hosted several Asian leaders in the US and visited the Philippines and Malaysia for regional summits.
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