Although not part of ASEAN, Australia has important trade and security relationships with its countries. It is hosting the summit to build on those for future cooperation.
Security and trade will be top of the agenda as Australia hosts ASEAN leaders.
Countering cyber-crime and tackling money-laundering and “terrorism” are at the heart on the agenda for the special summit.
The summit is controversial because some of the ASEAN leaders attending have overseen crackdowns on human rights in their own countries, and protests from their diaspora communities are expected.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.
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