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Denying distractions, Obama to host ASEAN leaders next year

US President Barack Obama holds a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on November 22, 2015, following his participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) SummitPresident Barack Obama on Sunday said he would host the leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations next year as he rejected accusations that Middle East turmoil was distracting him from focusing on Asia. Obama said he had invited leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to the United States, insisting that good ties with Asian nations were “absolutely critical” to US security. “I’m pleased they accepted and I look forward to continuing our work,” he said, speaking in Kuala Lumpur at the end of a marathon week of diplomacy which has taken in summits in Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia.

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