Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the meeting in Bangkok on July 31 (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and foreign ministers of other ASEAN countries paid a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before attending the opening of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52) in Bangkok on July 31.

In his speech on behalf of Vietnam – the next country to take over the ASEAN Chairmanship, Minh said the bloc is developing more and more strongly with its central role and stature in the international arena consolidated and the Community building process actively carried out.

He affirmed that facing complex developments in the region and the world, ASEAN needs to stay steadfast, united and resilient while promoting the respect for law so as to effectively cope with changes in the regional and international situations.

The official congratulated Thailand on successfully assuming the 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” and affirmed Vietnam’s support for Thailand’s efforts in this direction.

As the next country to hold the ASEAN Chairmanship, Vietnam will inherit the spirit and momentum of 2019 to enhance consensus and cohesion in ASEAN and further bring into play the bloc’s central role in effectively responding to global security and development challenges.

Following the meeting, the AMM-52 officially opened with the participation of foreign ministers of the 10 member nations, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and foreign ministers of some guest countries.

After that, the ASEAN ministers convened plenary and retreat sessions to discuss the Community building, the bloc’s external relations, preparations for the ASEAN Summit and the ASEAN Plus summits later this year, along with international and regional issues of shared concern.

The AMM-52 kicked off a series of foreign ministerial-level meetings of ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners. The events from July 30 to August 3 will be attended by foreign ministers of the 10 ASEAN countries, 27 partners and guest countries.

The ASEAN Plus One foreign ministers’ meetings will take place on July 31 afternoon and August 1 with the presence of officials from 10 dialogue partners, namely China, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, India, Canada, the US, the EU and the Republic of Korea. -VNA