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May 25, 2021 / 21:14

ASEAN-US meeting postponed for technical reason

No new date for the meeting has been fixed yet.

A virtual meeting between top diplomats of ASEAN and the US scheduled for Tuesday [May 25] has been postponed for technical difficulties, Kyodo News reported.

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a press briefing in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2021. Photo: AFP

An in-flight communications glitch happened before the meeting, the first of its kind, between US State Secretary Antony Blinken and foreign ministers of 10 ASEAN member states, including Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Antony Blinken was reportedly on a plane headed for the Middle East to ensure the implementation of ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas.

Issues on the agenda are expected to cover the Covid-19 pandemic, the US-ASEAN relations, and regional and international issues including China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam), and the latest political developments in Myanmar.

The Biden administration is said to treasure the relations with the 10-member bloc.

Washington almost certainly plans further high-level attendances at the various ASEAN economic and defense summits, the continuation of US-ASEAN military exercises, and deepen relations with traditional US allies in forums like the Philippines and Thailand, according to Foreign Brief.

The partnership of the US and ASEAN focuses on five areas including economic integration, maritime cooperation, emerging leaders, opportunity for women, and transnational challenges.

In 2019, the US welcomed the issuance of the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” by the ten leaders of ASEAN.