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ASEAN keeps to the course of centrality

At Cambodia gatherings, bloc will avoid taking sides, promote recovery: experts

At the ASEAN summit and associated meetings this month the bloc is likely to try to maintain its centrality, avoid taking sides between major powers and promote global recovery and reconciliation, experts say.

As chair of the 10-nation bloc for 2022, Cambodia is hosting the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related summits in Phnom Penh from Nov 10-13. A notable issue is the competition among major powers, especially Russia, the US and its allies over the Ukraine conflict, said Chheang Vannarith, president of the think tank the Asian Vision Institute in Cambodia.

US President Joe Biden will be in Cambodia on Nov 12 and 13 for the US-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit, the White House said on Oct 28. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been invited to attend related summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Cambodian media reported.

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