ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh (Photo:talkvietnam)
The European Union (EU) pledges to strengthen and elevate its dialogue relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to a greater height.

The new EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Francisco Fontan Pardo, told ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh after he presented his credentials in Jakarta on September 17, according to a press release by the ASEAN Secretariat. 

Pardo said that the long-standing ties and mutually beneficial partnership between the two blocs serve as a foundation for the EU to strengthen its relationship with ASEAN. He reiterated the EU’s support to ASEAN Community building.

The EU’s commitment to double financial support to ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes to 170 million EUR (194 million USD) during 2014-2010 is a reflection of its long-term pledge to aid ASEAN’s integration efforts, Pardo said.

He added that the establishment of the dedicated Diplomatic Mission to ASEAN based in Jakarta also features the EU’s commitment to bilateral and multilateral cooperation with ASEAN.

Secretary-General Minh spoke highly the intention of the EU to strengthen cooperation and elevate the partnership to a higher plane, expressing his appreciation for the EU's financial and technical support and the sharing of its valuable experience and lessons learned in the process of European regional integration. 

In addition, he also briefed the ambassador on the establishment of the ASEAN Community by the end of this year. 

According to him, ASEAN is moving steadily towards realising an integrated, well connected, and people-oriented community. The association is finalising its Post-2015 Vision to guide the Community's integration process over the next 10 years. 

He highlighted that the continued support of external partners, including the EU, is crucial to ASEAN's successes and achievements.-VNA