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Obama welcomes Southeast Asian leaders to US for talks

President Barack Obama, center, speaks at the plenary session meeting of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — President Barack Obama has opened a meeting of leaders from Southeast Asia, saying the landmark gathering on U.S. soil reflects his personal commitment to a strong and enduring partnership with the region's diverse countries.

Obama says he got to know Southeast Asia as a boy living in Indonesia with his mother.

He has worked as president to raise the U.S. profile in the region.

Obama says the people of a 10-nation bloc of Southeast Asian countries have always treated him well when he visits. He says that's why he's holding their two-day summit sunny California, not in Washington, where snow fell on Monday.

The summit marks the first time these leaders have met at the invitation of the U.S.

President Barack Obama's meeting with Southeast Asian leaders


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