Palace cites significance of PGMA’s July 15-16 visit to Egypt for 15th NAM Summit

July 11, 2009 7:26 pm 

By Zorayda S. Tecson

MANILA, July 11 –- Malacanang on Saturday underscored the significance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s scheduled visit to Egypt on July 15-16 to attend the 15th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the President will serve as the spokesperson for all the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Remonde said the Chief Executive was personally chosen by Egyptian President Muhamed Hosni Sayid Ibrahim Mubarak to speak for all the ASEAN heads of government.

The ASEAN is composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The Press Secretary said this is a great honor for the President, adding that “Maraming magagaling na leader sa ASEAN, pero bakit siya ang piniling magsasalita? (There are lots of good leaders in the ASEAN, but why she (the President) is the one chosen to speak? This is a recognition of the stature of our President in the international community."

He asked the public, particularly the government critics, to understand the importance of the NAM Summit, which is aimed at strengthening regional and global cooperation on political, economic and social issues affecting developing countries.

In the two-day summit, Remonde said the President might also take advantage of the opportunities for bilateral meeting with the other heads of state in attendance.

The NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations. At present, it has 118 member states, 16 observer countries and nine observer organizations.

Remonde assured that the President’s official delegation would be “very lean.”

“In fact, only two or three Cabinet members will join the President,” he said. (PNA)

scs/ZST

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