Vietnamese Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has stressed that ASEAN needs to exert efforts to maintain its central role in the East Asian Summit EAS.

The diplomat was speaking at the Special Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the EAS held in Bangkok , Thailand on April 10-11.

He said that efforts include defining the agenda and priorities for the East Asia Summit, and developing the Summit ’s role in addressing issues of strategic importance and with influence in the region.

Minh affirmed that the decision by the 2010 Hanoi ASEAN Summit to extend the EAS to include Russia and the US was strategically significant and opened a new phase of development for the EAS.

The Deputy FM also said that during its activities the EAS must comply with the basic principles set out in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia .

During the meeting foreign ministers and diplomats from ASEAN member countries discussed a wide range of issues, including maritime security.

Delegates highlighted the need for ASEAN to uphold its leading role in creating plans to deal with traditional and non-traditional challenges and raise initiatives to avoid the adverse impacts of geopolitical changes./.