Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has underlined the importance of the ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations and highlighted ASEAN as a key economic, political and security partner for Canada.

During his meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh in Jakarta on August 5, Baird reiterated Canada’s commitment to further strengthen its comprehensive engagement with ASEAN, particularly on important issues such as regional peace and security, human rights cooperation, trade and investment, energy, technology and innovation, connectivity, disaster management, education, and people-to-people contacts.

He reaffirmed Canada’s strong support for ASEAN centrality and ASEAN’s central role in regional mechanisms for peace, security and stability in Asia-Pacific.

For his part, ASEAN Secretary General Minh, welcomed Minister Baird on his first visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and expressed appreciation to Canada for its various initiatives to deepen its engagement with the group.

He stressed that the generous support and assistance by Canada, one of the long-standing Dialogue Partners of ASEAN, have substantially complemented ASEAN’s efforts to achieve the ASEAN Community by 2015.

In this connection, Secretary-General Minh looked forward to Canada’s continued cooperation to strengthen the ASEAN-Canada relations and support ASEAN’s regional integration beyond 2015.

At the meeting, host and guest exchanged views on other regional issues of mutual interest and concern, including the East Sea and non-traditional security issues facing the region. Both sides committed to intensify efforts to jointly address these emerging challenges.
Another highlight of the visit is Canada’s announcement to open the Mission of Canada to ASEAN in Jakarta within the next year.

Minister Baird extended his invitation to Secretary-General Minh for an official visit to Canada later this year.

Minister Baird was in Jakarta as part of his Asian tour prior to attending the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) with Canada and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), to be held later this week in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.-VNA