Australia urged to make human rights key issue at Asean summit

Canberra told not to 'dance with dictators'

New NSW strategy set to boost ASEAN trade

Responding to Widodo's statement, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he "forward to discussing that with President Jokowi if he raises it with me".

Australia is not a formal member of ASEAN, but maintains a role as a strategic partner and takes part in the biennial leaders' summit first instituted in 2016.

"Whether we label the (U.S. President Donald) Trump administration as protectionist, it is clear that they take a radically different approach towards trade", Lee was quoted as saying.

"It is the need for small and middle powers to canoe together and that is, to some extent, the rise of both China and India along with a trade- aggressive US, still unfolding", Mr Fischer said.

The inclusion of Myanmar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen in the meeting has drawn criticism, and large protests are planned against both.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the chairman of Asean this year, said he feared U.S. moves to protect domestic industries put countries "under pressure to retaliate". Turnbull used a visit to Washington in February to urge the United States to rejoin the trade pact and to speak against a growing sentiment of isolation in America.

PM Phúc is expected to deliver three speeches, with the focus on ASEAN-Australia co-operation, including enhancing regional security and prosperity, the ASEAN-Australia economic partnership and regional maritime co-operation.

"The declaration will also strengthen ASEAN-Australian long-term friendly relations based on common values and interests".

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Lee told reporters he had agreed in talks with Turnbull on Friday that the partnership should be negotiated by this year.

The Presidential Plane Indonesia 1 which carried the president and entourage landed at the Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney at 06.00 p.m. local time on Friday.

With the exception of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is skipping the meetings due to "domestic issues to attend to", Australian and Asean leaders would hold a counter-terrorism meeting as well as a CEO Forum over the weekend.

Human Rights Watch said most Asean governments deny their citizens basic liberties and fundamental freedoms.

Hun Sen, Cambodia's long-serving leader who had a court dissolve the main opposition party previous year, has threatened to hunt down and beat anyone who demonstrates against him in Sydney.

A military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state that began in August has seen almost 700,000 of the mainly Muslim Rohingya minority flee to Bangladesh, with pressure mounting on Ms Suu Kyi after a top United Nations rights expert warned this week the situation bore "the hallmarks of genocide".

Gomez also urged Asean leaders to pressure Australia to "take their obligations under global law seriously and respect the human rights of refugee" on refugee management and policies.

During Singapore's Asean chairmanship this year, Asean is pursuing an agreement on e-commerce to streamline the varying regulatory systems across member states and make electronic transactions safer and more convenient, he added. Australia had a "frank engagement" with Asean countries that covered a range of issues, including human rights, Turnbull said.

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