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Turkey, Mongolia joining the ASEAN? Duterte says, ‘Why not?’

One issue that apparently popped up along the sidelines of President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent trip to China was the possible addition to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of two countries that aren’t from the region.


Duterte said he spoke with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat, who both expressed interest in joining the alliance.

“Since I am the (ASEAN) chair, they wanted me to sponsor their entry. I said, why not,” Duterte said, as he spoke to media upon his arrival in Davao City after about a 5-hour flight from Beijing.

Duterte said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi seemed to find the plan odd.

“Sabi niya, ‘Have you considered the physical geography whether they are part of the Asean or not?” the president said, who in turn answered, “They are. I would say that they are.”

“Turkey seems to be ambivalent whether to be a bridge of Europe and Asia or being in Asia.

“Walang klaro diyan. There’s always been an ambivalent view.”

Turkey has an 8-hour time difference with the Philippines while Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, is a little more than 3,900 kilometers away from Manila.

Turkey, Mongolia joining the ASEAN? Duterte says, ‘Why not?’ Turkey, Mongolia joining the ASEAN? Duterte says, ‘Why not?’ Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 1:25:00 AM Rating: 5

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