PM to meet Asean counterparts at summit


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 09 Dec 2003

BY WONG CHUN WAI

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is set to meet his Asean counterparts for the first time since becoming Prime Minister a month ago when he attends the two-day Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo on Thursday. 

This will be Abdullah's first official appearance abroad as Prime Minister since taking over from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Oct 31. 

Abdullah is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Asean leaders on the sidelines of the summit, where he is likely to touch base with them. 

He is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.  

“Although Abdullah has to make the traditional courtesy visits to the Asean neighbours as the new premier, his schedule for next year is packed with domestic concerns,'' sources said. 

Topping the list would be the general election, speculated to be held in March or April, which would be the priority of the Prime Minister. 

Abdullah cancelled his planned trip to Abuja, the Nigerian capital where the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is being held.  

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz and senior government officials will accompany him to Tokyo. 

The Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit, at the Geihinkan State Guest House, marks the 30th anniversary of Asean-Japan relations and is the first summit with a dialogue partner held outside the Asean region. 

According to Wisma Putra, the summit, to be co-chaired by Koizumi and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, would take stock of 30 years of Asean-Japan relations as well as exchange views on strengthening and deepening their relations. 

“It will be a historic event as the summit will celebrate 30 years of Asean-Japan relations. For the first time, all Asean leaders will come together outside the Asean region,'' the sources added. 

A key agenda at the summit would be a comprehensive economic partnership involving Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. 

Last month, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima said his country aimed to start trade talks with the three countries at the Tokyo summit. 

The talks on economic partnership agreements would follow, going beyond free trade pacts to include investment and other items, to add to Tokyo's existing one with Singapore. Japan has been Asean's top trading partner for many years. 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Nation

Guan Eng: No DAP-Umno partnership for GE15 but cooperation possible on people-centric issues
PKR sec-gen seeks MACC meeting to hand over evidence of bribery involving MPs
Covid-19: 200 reports received from whistleblowers over vaccine queue jumping
Melaka CM reveals vision for RM100bil economic corridor project
Council of Federal Datuks: Arrests of suspects involved in fake Datukships a positive step
Don't politicise village head appointments, Johor Umno treasurer tells Bersatu
Johor hopeful for border reopening with Covid-19 vaccine drive
Esscom busts four alleged ketum smugglers at roadblock in Kalabakan, Sabah
NGOs call for funding and community help to stop fish bombing in Sabah
Private health practitioners to be involved in Covid-19 vaccination programme, says Health Minister

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers