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US President Could Attend Asean Summit Later This Year

U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks after an "Insourcing American Jobs" forum at the White House in Washington, January 11, 2012.

President Barack Obama is expected to attend an Asean summit in Phnom Penh in November, officials said Monday.

Following a meeting between Joseph Yun, the US State Department’s chief of East Asia and Pacific, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, Yun said the US expects to have the president at the Asean summit in November, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“So we have a really exciting year ahead,” Yun said.

Cambodia is currently serving a rotating presidency for Asean.

Cambodia owes the US more than $400 million in wartime debt from the Lon Nol era, money the current Cambodian government has said it should not have to pay.

Meanwhile, the US is making diplomatic efforts to improve its relationship in the region. Clinton paid a visit to Cambodia on a Southeast Asian swing last year and recently made an unprecedented visit to Burma, also known as Myanmar, in December.

Ouch Borith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said a US presidential visit would demonstrate a strengthened relationship between the two countries.