Southeast Asian meet starts with call for unity
Asean Leaders pose for a group photo during the opening ceremony for the 33rd Asean Summit and Related Summits on Nov. 13, 2018, in Singapore. AP
SINGAPORE — Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have begun their annual summit with calls to work together to resolve tensions over trade and other issues.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed fellow members of the 10-nation grouping by saying that joint efforts are more urgent than ever.
He said the international order is “at a turning point” and it’s unclear if the rules of the global system that have underpinned the region’s peace and growing wealth will survive.
Lee said ASEAN and several other major countries including India and China have made “substantive progress” on a market-opening initiative called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. It is unclear whether a deal on the initiative will be reached in Singapore.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. /ee