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Trump to skip Asia summits in Nov.: White House

U. S. OPresident donald Trump, left, abd Vice President Mike Pence (AP)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- U.S. President Donald Trump will skip summits with Asian leaders in Singapore and Papua New Guinea in November, with Vice President Mike Pence attending on his behalf, the White House said Friday.

Pence "will highlight the United States' vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, based on respect for sovereignty, the rule of law, and the principles of free, fair, and reciprocal trade," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The vice president will attend a summit between the United States and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as the East Asia Summit in Singapore. He will also attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Papua New Guinea.

The EAS comprises ASEAN -- which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

An EAS meeting is held right after the ASEAN leaders' meeting every autumn. Its agenda includes not just economic but also security issues, such as those relating to the South China Sea.

APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Sanders said Trump will instead travel to Paris, France, to participate in a Nov. 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War II.

He will also visit Ireland around that time "to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations."

Later in November, the president will attend a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, "to highlight his pro-growth economic policies on an international stage and meet bilaterally with other key world leaders," she said.

The G-20 consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Trump will also travel to Colombia to exchange views on "opportunities for even greater collaboration on security, counter narcotics, and regional affairs," according to Sanders.

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