Partner countries back ASEAN central role in regional structure
Updated : Saturday, August 04, 2018 10:18 AM (GMT+0700)

Representativesfrom ASEAN partner countries have stated their commitments to support thebloc’s central role in the regional structure at the 51st ASEANForeign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 51) and related meetings in Singapore, whichruns between July 30 and August 4.

Representatives of ASEAN member states and a partner country pose for a group
photo at the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 51) - Photo: AFP/VNA

At an US – ASEAN ministerialmeeting on August 3, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country willmaintain its role in a commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacificwith ASEAN at its centre.

The message came along witha US funding of 113 million USD in support of technology, energy andinfrastructure in the Asia-Pacific, which was announced just a few days beforethe opening of the AMM 51.

Meanwhile, India statedASEAN is among priorities of its diplomacy for external relations, affirmingits commitment to strengthening collaboration with the bloc, as well as tohelping the grouping build its community and boost regional connectivity.

India and ASEAN plan tofoster cooperation across three pillars of the ASEAN Community, focusing onmarine collaboration and trade-investment facilitation in order to liftbilateral trade to 200 billion USD in 2025.

Australian Minister forForeign Affairs Julie Bishop said ASEAN holds a leading role in Southeast Asiaand a strong connection in the Indo-Pacific region, adding that the power ofthe bloc’s solidarity will help maintain peace and security and create othergrowth pushes. 

Australia, as a dialoguepartner of ASEAN, fully supports the bloc’s development goals in the long term,she affirmed, adding that the Australian Government backs ASEAN in implementingthe integration connectivity initiatives, maintaining its central role as wellas peace and stability in the region.

For her part, ForeignMinister of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Kang Kyung-wha stressed that PresidentMoon Jae-in’s ‘New Southern Policy’ places ASEAN at the centre of cooperationpriorities, with a committee set up to further develop the initiative.

Earlier, at the ministerialmeetings between ASEAN and Japan, China, Russia, and New Zealand on August 2,the partner countries spoke highly of ASEAN’s role in the region and continuedto affirm their support to the bloc’s central role in the regional structurethat is open, transparent, inclusive, and rule-based. The structure will bebased on ASEAN-led mechanisms like the ASEAN plus three, East Asia Summit,ASEAN Regional Forum, and ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus.

Regarding the East Seaissue, the partner countries lauded an agreement between ASEAN and China on asingle draft document on the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the EastSea (COC).


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