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Obama to host ASEAN leaders early next year

U.S. President Barack Obama will host a summit with Southeast Asian nations early next year in a move seen aimed at strengthening his "pivot to Asia" policy, according to a news report.

Obama invited the leaders of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to the summit to be held at the Sunnylands resort in Southern California when he visited Kuala Lumpur last month for an annual gathering, the Hill reported.

"The president is pleased the leaders have accepted his invitation to gather at Sunnylands in early 2016," Myles Caggins, a National Security Council spokesman, was quoted as saying without providing further specifics, including an exact date.

Caggins only said the summit is aimed at continuing "important conversations" about the region.

Japanese media reported the summit is set for Feb. 15-16.

The planned summit is seen as part of efforts to further bolster U.S. relations with Asian countries under Obama's trademark "rebalance" or "pivot" to Asia policy aimed in part at keeping a rising China in check. (Yonhap)

  

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