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US tells Asean leaders summit marks ‘new era’ for ties

US President Joe Biden said on Friday a first summit in Washington with leaders from Asean marked the launch of a “new era” in the relationship between the United States and the 10-nation bloc.

Addressing the second day of a two-day meeting, Biden said “a great deal of history of our world in the next 50 years is going to be written in the Asean countries, and our relationship with you is the future, in the coming years and decades.”

The summit marks the first time that Asean leaders gathered as a group in Washington and their first meeting hosted by a US president since 2016.

The Biden administration hopes the effort will show that Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China, which it views as its main competitor, despite the crisis in Ukraine.


G-7 backs more aid, weapons to Ukraine in show of unity

Foreign ministers from the G-7 group of rich nations backed giving more aid and weapons to Ukraine as they met on Friday (May 13) in what Germany called a "powerful sign of unity" to deepen Russia's global isolation for invading its neighbour.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced a further €500 million (S$700 million) worth of military support that should be approved next week by EU members, and expressed confidence that the bloc will agree an embargo on Russian oil.

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss announced new sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin's financial network and inner circle, including his ex-wife and cousins, and also called for ramping up weapons supplies to Ukraine..



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