US postpones summit with Asean leaders amid coronavirus fears-sources

US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday. (Reuters photo)

WASHINGTON: The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, two US officials familiar with the matter said on Friday.

US President Donald Trump had invited leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to meet in Las Vegas after he did not attend a summit with the group in Bangkok in November.

“As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with Asean partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the Asean leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters.

The official added that the United States values its relationships with Asean member nations and looks forward to future meetings.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Bangkok Post