Duterte meets Erdogan. Photo by Christopher “Bong” Go.

President Duterte mentioned as we speak (Tuesday, May 16) that he would push for Turkey and Mongolia to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), dismissing considerations about their geographic location.

The president mentioned the leaders of Turkey and Mongolia instructed him about their want to join the bloc whereas they have been attending China’s “One Belt One Road” commerce and infrastructure summit in Beijing final weekend.

He mentioned he held separate conferences with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat on the sidelines of the summit.

At a information convention after he arrived at Davao airport early this morning, the president mentioned: “They want to join ASEAN and since I am now the chair, the Philippines is, they wanted me to sponsor their entry and I said, ‘yes, why not’.”

The 10-member ASEAN bloc at present contains Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, borders the Middle East and is a member of NATO. Its software to join the European Union has been slowed down for a few years.

Mongolia is a landlocked nation bordered by China and Russia.

As mirrored by the title of the group, geographic location is at present the primary criterion for ASEAN membership.

The president mentioned Myanmar’s de facto chief Aung San Suu Kyi, who additionally attended the summit, requested him if he had thought of geography in deciding to sponsor Turkey and Mongolia’s ASEAN membership.

However he bizarrely insisted that the 2 nations have been in reality a part of the area. “They are. I would say that they are,” he mentioned.

“Turkey seems to be ambivalent on whether to be a bridge of Europe and Asia or being an Asian. Sometimes they say they are part of Asia. Sometimes they say they are a bridge of Asia to Europe.”

Asked in regards to the president’s remarks, the ASEAN Secretariat instructed AFP that Turkey and Mongolia had by no means utilized for membership.

East Timor and Papua New Guinea, which are geographically in Southeast Asia, have sought ASEAN membership for a few years, however at present solely maintain observer standing.

There are additionally 10 nations that are “dialogue partners” of ASEAN: Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

Source: philippineslifestyle