Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterter (Photo: BS-CBN News)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has unveiled that Turkey and Mongolia were interested in being part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Duterte, whose nation holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year, held separate meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat, while they were all in China for the Belt and Road Forum.

During their meetings, the two leaders asked Duterte to back their countries’ entry, to which he responded positively.

The Philippine President said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who also attended the summit in China, asked him if he had considered geography in deciding to sponsor the ASEAN membership for Turkey and Mongolia.

Duterte insisted that the two nations were part of the region.

Turkey straddles Europe and Asia, while Mongolia is a landlocked nation wedged between China and Russia.

Founded in 1967, the 10-member ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The 630-million-people community posted a total GDP of 2.55 trillion USD in 2016.-VNA