Vientiane (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended a special meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) in Vientiane on February 20.

The event drew foreign ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.

Speaking in his capacity as ACC Chairman, Minh said the meeting aims to coordinate efforts and discuss ASEAN joint work against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

It is also meant to realise the ASEAN Chair’s Statement on the bloc’s collective response to COVID-19 epidemic, he said, adding that ASEAN member states will work closely together to promote a cohesive and responsive ASEAN community so as to cope with the danger of COVID-19 that is threatening the safety of citizens and the development of member countries and the region.

Following the meeting, ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers also attended a special meeting to discuss cooperation in the fight.

When the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) erupted in 2003, China and ASEAN also held a special high-level meeting to debate combating the epidemic./.