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Asean vows to strengthen regional cooperation

Southeast Asian foreign ministers opened their annual meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday to discuss and further strengthen Asean community building and enhance regional cooperation.
Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Saleumxay Kommasith attended the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings hosted by Thailand.

Those present included foreign ministers from Asean countries and their negotiation partners as well as from the guest countries of Timor-Leste, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Norway, Turkey and Switzerland.
Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha called on Asean member countries to deepen economic integration and boost prosperity in the region despite global challenges.
The Thai prime minister was quoted by Xinhua as saying that Asean must reinforce cooperative relations with its Dialogue Partners and other countries outside the region.
He also said it was essential for Asean to create new partners for cooperation to realise the goals of the regional bloc.
According to a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asean foreign ministers discussed a number of priority issues ranging from sustainable development to Asean connectivity and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting adopted a joint statement and acknowledged the progress made in closing Asean disparity. The meeting also approved priority projects and the budget for 2020.
At the Asean foreign ministers retreat, participants discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, particularly those relating to the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea, trans-national crime, terrorism, climate change, and issues in the Middle East.
Asean ministers also attended a signing ceremony which allowed Peru to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
They also attended the launch of the Asean-China young leaders’ scholarship and the Asean-Australia initiative relating to anti-human trafficking.
Since its establishment in 1967, Asean has made great strides and in 2015 became the Asean Community with a firm and strong foundation to move forward to greater prosperity.
Enhancing Asean connectivity will continue to benefit all Asean Member States through improved physical, institutional and people-to-people linkages.
Asean countries have been urged to strengthen mechanisms including the Asean Plus Three, East Asia Summit, Asean Regional Forum, and Asean cooperation with Dialogue Partners to ensure sustainability in all dimensions for the benefit of the Asean peoples.
Laos became a member of Asean in 1997 and could be considered an active member of the group, fulfilling its Asean obligations including the successful hosting of its second Asean Chairmanship recently.
With a population of over 647 million, Asean now comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 1, 2019)

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