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Obama pledges improved relations with Southeast Asia

Obama pledges improved relations with Southeast Asia
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A one day East Asia summit got underway on Thursday in Myanmar – also known as Burma – bringing together leaders from ten Southeast Asian Nations as well as several other world leaders.

It follows Wednesday’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting.

US President Barack Obama told the gathered heads of state in Naypyitaw that the US is committed to improving its relationship with the region.

“During the past 6 years we’ve made great strides in elevating and expanding this partnership, but I think we all agree we can still do more. That’s why the United States is committed to strengthening ASEAN both as an institution and as a community of nations bound by our shared interests and values,” Obama said.

Obama, who is due to hold talks with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, has warned the country is backsliding on reforms. He is expected to bring up the plight of the displaced Rohingya Muslim minority who have suffered violence and apartheid-like living conditions.

The summit will also discuss anti-Ebola measures and how to prevent ASEAN citizens from aiding ISIL jihadists.

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