PM Lee attends ASEAN summits in Cambodia, first to be held in person since COVID-19

PM Lee attends ASEAN summits in Cambodia, first to be held in person since COVID-19

It provides for the appointment of an ASEAN special envoy, currently Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn. It was also agreed for ASEAN to provide humanitarian aid to Myanmar.

There has been little progress in the implementation of the plan. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi remains in jail and there have been numerous attacks by the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s armed forces, on its political opponents. 

Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a Facebook post last month that the ministers had discussed recommendations for ASEAN leaders to consider at the summits in November.

“It is time for ASEAN to make some difficult decisions to guide our next steps on Myanmar,” he wrote.

Myanmar leader Min Aung Hlaing is not expected at the ASEAN summits, as the bloc continues to exclude the country’s political leadership at high-level meetings, inviting instead a “non-political representative”. The junta has so far refused to send representatives to meetings.


PMO said the summits will also mark the association’s 55th anniversary, with the leaders taking stock of its achievements while looking to strengthen regional cooperation and reinforce “ASEAN centrality”, which refers to the bloc’s role in promoting regional multinational relations.

ASEAN leaders will meet external partners during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the East Asia Summit and summits with the United Nations, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States. US President Joe Biden is expected at the meet, as is Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The summit with Canada is a special commemorative summit marking the 45th anniversary of the dialogue relations, which was established in 1977.

Dr Balakrishnan and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will join Mr Lee on the trip. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be the Acting PM in Mr Lee’s absence.

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