Obama set to tackle sea rows at Asia summit

  • letters@hindustantimes.com, AFP, Phnom Penh
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 16, 2012 01:14 IST

US President Barack Obama is set to wade into the troubled waters of Asia's maritime disputes at a regional summit next week, with allies hoping for support in their efforts to contain China.

Obama, on his first overseas trip since his re-election, will arrive in the Cambodian capital from Myanmar on Monday for the 18-nation East Asia Summit that will be dominated by a raft of territorial rows.

The two days of annual talks will be preceded on Sunday by a meeting of leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which have struggled to forge a united stance on China's claims to the South China Sea.

Crime & punishment
Cambodian authorities on Thursday arrested eight villagers residing next to the national capital's airport for plastering Obama's picture on their rooftops beside spray-painted messages of 'SOS'.

Villagers say they were ordered in July to vacate their land so the airport could enlarge its runway and build a security buffer zone.

Meanwhile, Myanmar is set to free 452 political prisoners on Thursday, just days ahead of Obama's landmark visit.

America in brief
Romney is wrong, says Bobby Jindal

Indian-origin Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has rejected Mitt Romney's claim that Barack Obama won the election by giving "gifts" to minorities and young voters, calling the statement "wrong".

"That is absolutely wrong," Jindal said at Wednesday's session of the annual Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas, adding: "I absolutely reject that notion. I don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we are going."

Obama talks tough on tax deal, Iran
Obama on Wednesday talked tough on tax negotiations at home and Iran's nuclear programme at his first news conference after re-election.

He said he is against any deal that continues tax cuts for the wealthy, that Republicans favour, as the two sides negotiate a path preventing automatic tax hikes at the end of the year.

He let his frustrations show on Republicans targeting US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton, over Benghazi.


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