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International relations

Top U.S. diplomat to court Southeast Asia in virtual meetings

Engagement of 10 ASEAN foreign ministers signals renewed commitment to region

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will step up diplomatic efforts with Southeast Asia via virtual meetings.    © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet virtually with Southeast Asian officials every day next week, a senior state department official said on Saturday, as Washington seeks to show the region it’s a U.S. priority while also addressing the crisis in Myanmar.

The top U.S. diplomat will attend virtual meetings for five consecutive days, including annual meetings of the 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other nations and separate meetings of the Lower Mekong subregion countries Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

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