Donald Trump invites ASEAN leaders to US ‘special summit’ after skipping annual meet

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Published: November 4, 2019 10:29:11 AM

US President Donald Trump has invited Southeast Asian leaders to a "special summit" in the United States early next year after skipping their annual gathering.

Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser Trump, made a swipe at China and accused it of intimidating ASEAN members (File)

President Donald Trump has invited Southeast Asian leaders to a “special summit” in the United States early next year after skipping their annual summit.

Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser Trump sent in his stead, included the invitation in a letter from Trump that he read at a U.S.-ASEAN meeting on Monday on the sidelines of the summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the outskirts of Thailand’s capital.

That meeting normally would be attended by presidents or prime ministers. But since O’Brien is not even a member of Trump’s Cabinet, seven of the 10 ASEAN countries sent their foreign ministers instead in what appeared to be a pointed adherence to diplomatic protocol.

O’Brien made a swipe at China, accusing it of intimidating ASEAN members.

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