Obama Meets with Asian Leaders

Posted November 18th, 2011 at 9:40 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama held talks Friday with Asian leaders attending the East Asia Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

The first bilateral meeting on Mr. Obama's schedule was with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Mr. Obama said both nations see the East Asia Summit as the premier arena to work together on issues ranging from maritime security and nonproliferation to expanded cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

The American president also met with Indonesian leader President Yudhoyono. Mr. Obama said the two leaders agreed to a number of steps to increase cooperation, including training and support to help the Indonesian military as it modernizes.

On the economic front, Mr. Obama welcomed Thursday's signing of a large order of Boeing jets by Indonesia's domestic airline, Lion Air. The aircraft maker said the sale of 230 Boeing 737 planes, worth close to $22 billion, is the largest commercial order in its history.

The American leader said the U.S. and Indonesia also plan on signing a $600 million pact supporting sustainable development, public health and improved public services in Indonesia.

Mr. Obama met with leaders of the Philippines and Malaysia before attending an East Asia Summit dinner. During his stay on Indonesia's resort island, he will continue to meet leaders of Asian countries that seek U.S. support in their territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea.

He arrived in Indonesia Thursday after a stop in Australia, where he signed an accord to deploy up to 2,500 U.S. troops in the country's north to boost regional security. China promptly objected to the deal.

Mr. Obama told Australia's parliament in Canberra that developments in the Asia-Pacific region will largely define the century ahead and that the U.S. presence there is his administration's top priority.

This is the first time that the United States and Russia are attending the East Asia Summit as full members.

Bali is the last stop on Mr. Obama's nine-day Asia-Pacific trip. He heads back to Washington Saturday.