• Sunday, August 14, 2022

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ASEAN leaders tackle Rohingya crisis and urge South China Sea calm

Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Brunei’s Sultan and Prime Minister Sultan Bokliah, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak wave as they stand together during the Leaders Welcome and Family Photo at the one-off summit of 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney, Australia, March 17, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

By: Sarwar Alam

Australia and its ASEAN neighbours vowed to boost defence ties while stressing the importance of non-militarisation in the disputed South China Sea on Sunday (18)  at a summit where the “complex” Rohingya crisis took centre stage. Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the three-day meeting in Sydney, also agreed to work more closely to tackle the growing menace of violent extremism and radicalisation. But while a final communique noted a resolve to “protect the human rights of our peoples”, it failed to condemn member state Myanmar’s treatment of the Muslim-minority Rohingya. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled the…

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