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Obama to meet Sultan of Brunei on Tuesday

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US President Barack Obama will welcome Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the White House next Tuesday, for talks to prepare the way for the East Asia summit and US-ASEAN summit in October.

Obama, who used his first term to engineer a pivot in US diplomacy towards Asia, will be expected to attend the twin summits in Brunei, likely to focus on key economic, diplomatic and territorial issues.

"The Sultan's visit underscores the strategic importance the President places on the Asia Pacific region and to substantive engagement with our friends and partners in the region," the White House said Wednesday.

"It highlights the President's commitment to participating fully in the region's multilateral forums in order to foster cooperation, maintain stability and promote economic growth."

The White House also said Obama was keen to discuss progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Obama has cast as a centrepiece of Washington's renewed engagement in Asia.

Talks on framing the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Obama became the first US president to attend the East Asia summit in Bali in 2011 and also took part in the 2012 meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130306/obama-meet-sultan-brunei-tuesday