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ASEAN Summit Kicks off in Manila amid Anti-US Protests

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Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] are taking part in a two-day summit the Philippine capital, Manila, amid tight security and heavy police presence in the face of anti-US protest rallies.


Meanwhile, leaders from the 10 ASEAN member states are set to discuss regional cooperation and developments.

Also in Manila are leaders of ASEAN's dialog partners, including the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Australia and India.

The annual gathering opened Monday amid fresh clashes between Philippine security forces and the protesters angry at a visit by US President Donald Trump to Manila.

Hundreds of protesters marched on the summit's venue near Manila Bay. The rally turned violent when riot police intervened, using water cannons and blocking the demonstrators.

Trump, who arrived in Manila Sunday on the last leg of his trip to Asia, angered people who fear he may want more military bases in the Philippines and drag their country into a possible conflict with North Korea.

During the summit, a range of regional issues will be discussed, including the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the North Korean military program, the spread of extremism in the region, and the territorial dispute in South China Sea.

On the sidelines of the Monday event, US president sat down for talks with his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte.

He also met with prime ministers of Australia and Japan, namely Malcolm Turnbull and Shinzo Abe, with their talks focusing on North Korea's military program as well as trade ties.

On Tuesday, ASEAN will have a 40th anniversary commemorative summit with the European Union. It will be followed by the East Asia Summit [EAS], which is composed of ASEAN members, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team


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