BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union and southeast Asian countries are commemorating 45 years of diplomatic ties with a summit overshadowed by political distractions such as the war in Ukraine and an EU Parliament bribery scandal. EU leaders hosted counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Wednesday. The meeting is a nod to Asia’s economic rise. The EU is looking for trade and investment possibilities across much of the world after its economy was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic before the war in Ukraine compounded the problems. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the bloc’s leaders “have to make sure that we have a strong position in our relationship with ASEAN.”
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