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Asean Summit a screens-only affair

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Asean Summit a screens-only affair

Leaders’ meeting to go virtual on June 26 after being postponed from April

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses a video conference of Asean leaders on Covid-19 in April. Their annual summit later this month will also be a virtual one. (Reuters File Photo)
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses a video conference of Asean leaders on Covid-19 in April. Their annual summit later this month will also be a virtual one. (Reuters File Photo)

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will meet virtually on June 26 after their annual summit was postponed from April due to the coronavirus pandemic, a senior Indonesian official said on Friday.

Vietnam, which holds the rotating chairmanship of Asean this year, earlier proposed that the summit be held, with the leaders in attendance, in Hanoi on June 27 and 28.

“The proposal by Vietnam was good because there would be personal engagement among leaders to discuss various actual issues,” Jose Tavares, director-general for Asean Cooperation, told Kyodo News.

“However, because Covid-19 is still spreading in some member countries, for now the better format is a virtual meeting, so a common agreement was reached to hold the Asean Summit virtually on June 26,” he added.

The heads of government of the 10 member countries have already convened once in virtual fashion, when they met in April to discuss the region’s response to the virus pandemic.



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