16th ASEAN Summit meeting held in Hanoi; Agreement for $2 billion 1200 MW coal-fired thermal power plant project in Hai Duong Province in Vietnam signed; Malaysia to emphasize on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes;
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  • At the 16th ASEAN summit at Hanoi, Malaysian PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stated that the inclusion of the US and Russia within an ASEAN+8 frame work will be discussed in detail by the foreign ministers of the member states and a decision will be arrived at the next Summit meeting. Najib emphasized on the need to have both the countries participating in the proposed framework.1

    At the sidelines of the Hanoi Summit, Najib Razak also held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung. Bilateral, regional and global issues were discussed. An agreement for the $2 billion 1200 MW coal-fired thermal power plant project in Hai Duong Province in Vietnam was signed.2

    Najib Razak was also one of the 46 leaders who will be attending the two-day nuclear summit in Washington.3 Najib is expected to highlight Malaysia’s stance on using nuclear power exclusively for developmental purposes.4 He will also hold a separate meeting with President Obama.5

    To deal with rising anti-government protests led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), a state of emergency was declared by the Thai government on April 7 in Bangkok along with a few other provinces like Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Nakhon Pathom and Ayutthaya.6 Despite this however, over 100 soldiers were injured in clashes with UDD supporters on April 9. In the aftermath of this incident, the government appointed PM’s Secretary General Korbsak Sabhavasu to begin truce talks with UDD leaders.7 The Puea Thai Party meanwhile urged the Thai government to dissolve the House to deal with the ongoing political crisis within the country.8

    In Myanmar, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has decided to abstain from taking part in the upcoming general elections. Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her delight over the party’s decision. Reports indicated that the decision may aggravate the debates over the credibility of the upcoming election.9