AHMAD FAIRUZ OTHMAN
NAYPYIDAW: Asean heads of government and world leaders will converge in the Myanmar starting tomorrow to discuss a host of current issues affecting the region, including its development, environment and the South China Sea issue.
Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Othman Hashim said the issues highlighted at the 25th Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit and Related Summits will pave the way for the region's direction, particularly in relation to the Asean Community in 2015.
"The summit is an opportunity for the regional group to study its achievements so far before it head towards the Asean Community slated for the end of 2015.
"It is also an opportunity to discuss the direction in which Asean will take when the Asean community is implemented," Othman told reporters in Naypyidaw, Myanmar's administrative capital ahead of the two-day summit.
"There will be various discussions among Asean member states and its dialogue partners such as those related to environment, the situation in the South China Sea and cooperation in the field of development."
Othman said certain "hot" current issues will also take centre stage during the summit.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is leading the Malaysian delegation to the summit.
Also to be held simultaneously during the two-day itinerary will be the East Asia Summit, and summits for Asean-Japan, Asean-China, Asean-India, Asean-United States, among others.
Leaders such as Japanese president Shinzo Abe, Chinese premier Li Keqiang, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, United States president Barack Obama and Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, will be among those present.
"The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib will have a chance to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders from India and Japan and maybe some other countries, " said Othman.