3 more ASEAN leaders leave after successful summit

MANILA � The leaders of Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are among the last group that left the Philippines via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Tuesday night after the successful conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in Manila.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo left aboard his plane from the Manila airport at 9:50 p.m.

President Widodo, during his state visit to the Philippines last April, led the launch the Davao-General Santos-Bitung sea route for the Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) shipping network. He also hosted the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Indonesia in September 2016.

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc departed from Manila at 10:10 p.m.

The Philippines and Vietnam are among the claimant countries of the disputed South China Sea.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the start of formal negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the disputed waters was among the outcomes during the meeting between ASEAN leaders and China.

Meanwhile, the plane of Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took off at 11:45 p.m.

Thailand is among the founding member-states of ASEAN along with host country Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The three ASEAN leaders were the last world leaders to leave for the day.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also left Tuesday evening via commercial flight.

Among the leaders who left the country earlier in the day were United States President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Brunei Darussalam Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

During the three-day summit, the world leaders tackled issues such as the rise of radicalization and violent extremism, global and regional economic outlook, economic integration, women empowerment, migrant workers, malnutrition, climate change, youth, and poverty.

The landmark signing of a Consensus on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers was among the highlights of the summit.

The bloc also held successive summits with its Dialogue Partners as well as the ASEAN-led mechanisms --- the ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit, noting the importance of cooperation in addressing issues that affect the peace, security, and prosperity of the region.

The leaders also had two business council meetings -- the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the East Asia Business Council.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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