East Asia summit in Manila involves SCO states for the first time

East Asia summit in Manila

On 14 November 2017, SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov attended events of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and took part in meetings on the sidelines of this influential regional association's main annual event.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte praised the SCO Secretary General's involvement in the events as a distinguished guest. During their brief meeting, Mr Alimov thanked the head of the Filipino state for his invitation, cordiality and hospitality. In turn, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte praised the SCO's involvement in the ASEAN Summit events and expressed hope for furthering contacts between both organisations.

Mr Alimov had a meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres on the sidelines of the summit. The sides discussed the practical implementation of joint plans, charted during their first June 2017 meeting held in Astana, and agreed to continue expanding cooperation between both organisations in numerous areas.

Mr Alimov had a conversation with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. They discussed preparations for the 1 December 2017 meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of Government in Sochi and the organisation of the event. Mr Alimov and Mr Medvedev also touched upon matters concerning the promotion of diverse socioeconomic cooperation in the SCO format.

Mr Alimov had a conversation with the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. They discussed overall developments in Eurasia as well as the Asia Pacific region, including in the context of the SCO and ASEAN role, and noted the importance of strengthening and expanding economic ties in Eurasia and the Asia Pacific region.

He also attended a working lunch on behalf of the President of the Philippines. The leaders of countries, involved in the East Asia Summit format, as well as special guests of the Filipino Chairmanship, were also invited.

Mr Alimov had an especially symbolic meeting with the incumbent ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh and Mr Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, due to assume this position from 1 January 2018.

During his friendly conversation with Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretary of the Filipino Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alimov cordially congratulated Mr Cayetano on successfully completing the country's chairmanship of ASEAN and noted an unconventional approach together with the impeccable organisation of events marking the organisation's 50th anniversary.

At the end of the working day, Mr Alimov attended the official ceremony of ceding ASEAN chairmanship from the Philippines to Singapore and also watched an exciting concert with traditional dances and songs of ASEAN nations.

SCO-ASEAN cooperation has been developing since 2005 on the basis of the memorandum of understanding between the secretariats of both organisations. In May 2016, SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov attended events of the Russia-ASEAN Summit in Sochi. In August 2017, he was invited to Manila for ministerial meetings of multilateral mechanisms revolving around ASEAN.

The East Asia Summit was established in 2005 as a forum for dialogue between leaders of Asia Pacific countries on a wide range of long-term strategic, political and economic issues of mutual interest. Annual meetings in this format are timed to coincide with top-level ASEAN events.

Currently, the East Asia Summit involves 18 states, including the ten ASEAN member-countries and its dialogue partners: Russia, Australia, India, China, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United States and Japan. All East Asia Summit member-countries were represented by their heads of state and government during the Manila summit.