Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaks to the media while meeting with Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Friday, July 21, 2017, at the State Department in Washington. Tillerson is urging Qatar’s neighbors to lift a land blockade as a “sign of good faith” in negotiations to resolve the Persian Gulf diplomatic crisis. Tillerson says he hopes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will consider it seriously. AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Tillerson, 26 ministers to attend ASEAN forum in Manila
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - July 28, 2017 - 8:57am

MANILA, Philippines — United States (US) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Manila for the first time to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum next week.

Foreign Ministers from 27 countries will attend the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center from August 2 to 8.

The meetings will bring together the foreign ministers of the ASEAN, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Post Ministerial Conferences.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will chair the 50th AMM plenary and retreat, the 18th APT Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the 7th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the 24th ARF Plenary and Retreat. He will also lead the ASEAN-Canada Post Ministerial Conference along with Canada.

The Philippines' top diplomat will also participate in post ministerial conferences, where ASEAN meets with each of its 10 dialogue partners.

The following foreign ministers are also expected to attend the meetings in Manila:

  • Brunei Darussalam - Pehin Dato' Lim Jock Seng
  • Cambodia - Prak Sokhonn
  • Indonesia - Retno Marsudi
  • Lao PDR - Saleumxay Kommasith
  • Malaysia - Dato' Sri Anifah Hj Aman
  • Mayanmar - U Kyaw Tin
  • Singapore - Vivian Balakrishnan
  • Thailand - Don Pramudwinai
  • Vietnam - Pham Binh Minh
  • ASEAN Secretariat - Le Luong Minh
  • Australia - Julie Bishop
  • Bangladesh - Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali
  • Canada - Chrystia Freeland
  • China - Wang Yi
  • North Korea - Ri Yong-ho
  • European Union - Federica Mogherini
  • India - Smt. Sushma Swaraj
  • Japan - Fumio Kishida
  • Mongolia - Tsend Munkh-Orgil
  • South Korea - Kang Kyung-wha
  • New Zealand - Gerry Brownlee
  • Pakistan - Sartaj Aziz
  • Papua New Guinea - Rimbink Pato
  • Russia - Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov
  • Sri Lanka - Ravi Karunanayake
  • Timor-Leste - Hernani Coelho

The ministers will review the progress and future direction of the ASEAN community-building efforts and exchange views on pressing regional and international developments.

Tillerson earlier accused China of using its economic power to buy its war out of issues such as the South China Sea dispute.

On the other hand, China's top diplomat warned "non-regional forces" to avoid interfering in activities in the South China Sea.

"If there are still some non-regional forces or forces in the region that don't want to see stability in the South China Sea and they still want to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, we need to stand together and say no to them together," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters during his official visit to Manila earlier this week.

RELATED: US stand on South China Sea remains unchanged amid China dialogue

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