US President Donald Trump has invited Southeast Asian leaders to meet in Las Vegas next month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday after a summit was scrapped last year.
Pompeo confirmed the date when he was asked at a press conference whether fears of the Coronavirus outbreak would delay the summit with members of the 10-Nations Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"The ASEAN summit is ongoing. We are working through … the second weekend in March in Las Vegas," said Pompeo.
Diplomats said the summit would involve Trump and will take place in the desert gambling harbor on March 12.
The United States began to inform Southeast Asian leaders of a visit after Chile canceled a Pacific summit scheduled for November after major demonstrations.
Trump also skipped an ASEAN summit and a parallel East Asia summit in Bangkok last year.
Instead, he sent his national security advisor, Robert O & # 39; Brien, to the lowest U.S. participation in the East Asia Summit ever.
Most ASEAN leaders refused to meet with O & # 39; Brien and sent junior officials who were more parallel.
The low presence in Bangkok came after years of efforts by the United States to show that the United States is committed to Asia in the face of an emerging China.
In Bangkok, O & # 39; Brien renewed the U.S. call for freedom of navigation and accused China of using "intimidation" to prevent the ASEAN countries from exploiting resources in the South China Sea.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)