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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by President Obama Before U.S.-ASEAN Summit Meeting

Myanmar International Convention Center
Naypyitaw, Burma

12:45 P.M. MMT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  It is a great pleasure to be back in this beautiful country and to once again have the opportunity to consult closely with all of our ASEAN partners.

Today, I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the strong partnership between ASEAN and the United States that already exists.  President Thein Sein, I want to thank you for your hospitality and for bringing together this excellent summit.  I think Myanmar has done a tremendous job chairing ASEAN this year and has shown solid leadership on issues of critical importance to the entire region.

As has already been noted in the EAS that we just attended, ASEAN is at the heart of Asia’s rapid growth.  Its people are ambitious and energetic and talented, and I’m looking forward to spending time tomorrow with young leaders from across Southeast Asia.  And as a strong relationship between the United States and ASEAN is essential to realizing our shared vision for the future of the Asia Pacific, I intend to continue to invest in these efforts not only during our summits but, more importantly, on a day-to-day basis.

During the past six years, we’ve made great strides in elevating and expanding this partnership, but I think we all agree we can still do more.  And that’s why the United States is committed to strengthening ASEAN, both as an institution and as a community of nations bound by our shared interests and values.  And so whether we are working on economic issues, social issues, security issues, disaster relief, enhancing educational opportunities for all the young people of the region, strengthening our public health infrastructure to ensure that we can handle an outbreak of disease –- in each and every one of these cases, I believe that we are going to be stronger together than when we act individually.  And we are very much invested in building the capacity not just of individual nations but between nations so that together we can become stronger, more capable partners to each other and meet the regional and global challenges ahead.  So thank you very much, Mr. President, and I look forward to hearing the remarks from our fellow leaders.

12:47 P.M. MMT