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US to send security envoy, commerce secretary to Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit

Soldiers jump from a helicopter during an emergency hostage situation exercise in Nonthaburi province, Thailand on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. The 35th annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual leaders' summit will be hosted in Thailand Nov. 2-4.

SAKCHAI LALIT/AP

By Published: October 30, 2019

BANGKOK — The White House has announced that a national security adviser and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will attend two summits in Thailand.

The announcement comes just days before the Associated of Southeast Asian Nations summit and East Asia summit near Thailand's capital, where security is being ramped up.

The White House announcement said Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Robert C. O'Brien would lead the delegation.

Last year, Vice President Mike Pence attended the summits in place of President Donald Trump. Trump attended the summits in 2017.

Sending an adviser in the place of the president or vice president is likely to be viewed as a slight and a lack of U.S. interest in the region.

The summits include sideline meetings that involve the U.S. and other major countries.
 

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