Duterte not attending ASEAN summit on Myanmar

RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will not attend a summit of leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in Jakarta this weekend, his spokesman said on Thursday.

Duterte will be represented by the country’s foreign ministry and will not join because of the face-to-face requirements of the meeting, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a regular news conference. He did not elaborate on the issues.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been trying to guide Myanmar, a member, out of the bloody turmoil triggered by the military overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on Feb. 1.

But the group’s principles of consensus and non-interference have restricted its ability to overcome members’ divergent views on how to respond to the army’s killing of hundreds of civilians. — Reuters