ASEAN Summit closes with Malaysia assuming chairmanship

Myanmar President U Thein Sein and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at handover ceremony of ASEAN chairmanship.
Myanmar President U Thein Sein and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at handover ceremony of ASEAN chairmanship.

The 25th ASEAN Summit concluded here Thursday with Myanmar President U Thein Sein ceremoniously handing over the chairmanship of the regional grouping to Malaysia.
“It was a great opportunity for Myanmar to take the ASEAN chairmanship since becoming a member 17 years ago,” the president said in a speech delivered at the summit’s closing ceremony held at the Myanmar International Convention Center.
“The establishment of the ASEAN Community next year will be a milestone of ASEAN. The peoples of ASEAN will enjoy the benefits of the community and at the same time will have to prepare ourselves to overcome the new challenges.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said after receiving the chairmanship gavel from U Thein Sein that “this has been a historical milestone for ASEAN, the first time this Golden Land has held responsibility and played a central role in steering our region forward.”
“I warmly congratulate you, President
(U) Thein Sein, for your most able stewardship of the association,” he said. “Myanmar has displayed a deep awareness of the responsibility that comes with being chairman of ASEAN, and you have discharged this responsibility admirably.”
“You have also shown a tremendous depth of generosity manifesting the best of Asia’s traditions,” he added.
Razak also said that Malaysia hopes to “steer ASEAN closer to the people of Southeast Asia to make this institution part of people’s daily lives, by creating a truly people-centered ASEAN.”
“I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, and your capable teams of ministers of ministeries and senior officials, and each of their teams, for a remarkable year. Your unswerving commitment to ASEAN community building has brought us close and closer to the finishing line of establishing an ASEAN community.”
“You have raised the bar for us, Mr. President, and raised our ambition for what is possible next year,” he said.
The ASEAN chairmanship rotates annually among the regional grouping’s 10 members.

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