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Discussions on ASEAN centrality to continue: Anifah

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KOTA KINABALU: ASEAN Foreign Ministers have agreed that the discussions on how to enhance ASEAN Centrality especially within East Asia Summit (EAS), should continue.

In disclosing this, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the discussion, to take place at the Senior Official Meetings, should also take into account ways to strengthen the EAS.

“On ASEAN’s external relations, the ministers reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to enhance and deepen its cooperation with dialogue partners,” he told reporters after chairing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat here, today.

The retreat was also attended by ASEAN secretary-general, Le Luong Minh.

ASEAN has 10 dialogue partners namely Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

The East Asia Summit members comprised Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Anifah said that Malaysia had highlighted several regional issues during the retreat, such as on disaster management.

He added that the ministers had underlined the importance of better coordination with ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) in responding especially to natural disasters.

“This will promote greater synergy and coherence between relevant ASEAN mechanisms,” he said.

The two-day retreat which ended today is the curtain-raiser for the series of ministerial and related meetings under Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship this year, after taking over from Myanmar. – BERNAMA


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