The Presidential Planner Abroad

By Dschabner

Nov 14, 2009 7:40pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

SINGAPORE — This morning President Obama wakes up in Singapore after arriving late last night.

The president will start his morning with a breakfast meeting on climate change with APEC leaders in advance of December’s climate change summit in Copenhagen.  Australian Prime Minister Rudd and Mexican President Calderon organized the informal breakfast meeting. NATO Secretary General and former Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen, chair of the Conference of the Parties 15 (the Copenhagen meeting) will also attend. The purpose of the meeting is to review where the negotiations stand and the path forward on climate change.

Afterward, Obama will meet with U.S. embassy employees and their families, as is routine for presidents to do when they travel to other countries.

President Obama will meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore in the west drawing room of the Istana palace.

The president will then participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) retreat session — the forum’s annual summit which they year marks its 20th anniversary. APEC includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

The two-hour leaders' retreat will be centered around balanced and sustainable growth, as well as trade liberalization.  Sixty percent of all U.S. exports go to APEC countries — 26 percent of which go to the Asian part of APEC.

“So engagement with the APEC countries around regional economic creation and trade liberalization is a key part of our economic strategy back home to strengthen exports and build export-related jobs in the United States, “Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes says of the importance of President Obama's attendance at the summit.

In the afternoon, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Medvedev of Russia that, as ABC’s Jake Tapper reports, is the most important meeting the President will hold today, “dealing with nuclear nonproliferation: renegotiations of the START Treaty, due to expire next month, and efforts to end the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.

Later, the President will attend a multilateral meeting with the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN-10), including Myanmar. Obama’s attendance will be the first time a U.S. president has been at the meeting, and will mark the highest level contact between the Myanmar, one of the worst human rights offenders, and the United States in decades.

Following the meeting, the president will hold a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Obama’s home as a young boy. Obama skipped Indonesia during his Asia trip this time, but White House officials say a meeting next year is in the works.

In the evening, the president will depart Singapore and fly to Shanghai, China, the third country of his four-country tour.

– Sunlen Miller

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