President Marcos to attend Asean-Australia meet in Melbourne

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
President Marcos to attend Asean-Australia meet in Melbourne
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos leaves today for Melbourne, Australia to take part in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit.

The summit, set from March 4 to 6, marks the 50th year since Australia became ASEAN’s first dialogue partner.

Marcos just arrived on Thursday from a two-day state visit to Canberra, where he addressed the Australian parliament.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who welcomed Marcos at the Parliament House on Thursday, said he was looking forward to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

“For Australia, ASEAN is central and it is essential. And we want to continue to work closely with the Philippines and all our friends and partners in ASEAN, to promote the shared opportunity that drives our regional prosperity, and to fulfill our collective responsibility to uphold regional security,” Albanese said. The Philippines is one of the founding members of ASEAN.

Aside from the Philippines, other ASEAN members are Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam. Timor-Leste is now an official ASEAN observer.

Marcos is expected to thank Australia for its support for the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration reaffirming the Philippines’ maritime entitlements and invalidating China’s massive claim in the South China Sea, according to Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu.

He said Marcos is also expected to highlight ASEAN-Australia cooperation in maritime issues, climate and clean energy track, people-to-people exchange, among others during the leaders’ plenary.

The President has scheduled bilateral meetings with leaders of Cambodia and New Zealand, Espiritu said.

Marcos will also meet with the Filipino community and business leaders in Melbourne, according to the Foreign Affairs officials.

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