The Euro Press Image (EPI) portal on April 28 posted an article on the 26th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia, that took place on the preceding two days, highlighting ASEAN’s bid to strengthen cooperation and diplomacy towards the formation of an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015.

The piece quoted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak ’s opening speech, in which he said that 2015 is an important milestone in the history of ASEAN as the vision of a single community will be realised by the end of the year, creating a foundation that allows the 10 member states to strengthen solidarity and deepen integration in the next decade.

The article agreed that the formation of the ASEAN Community marks the significant progress of the bloc in the past few decades and argued that this has promoted deeper regional integration.

It also pointed out the challenges that ASEAN might have to face in the time ahead, particularly in the context of fierce competition among global powers in the Asia-Pacific. It also warned about non-traditional challenges such as the terrorist activities of extremist Islamic organisations, the existing tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the ongoing lack of peace in the Middle East, among others.

According to the selection, after nearly 40 years of development, ASEAN has gained achievements and gradually reinforced its position in regional and international affairs.

T he creation of an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015 will mark an important milestone in the process of integration, creating a solid foundation for cooperation in all fields between member countries and consolidating the strength of ASEAN both politically and economically, the article added.

However, ASEAN members, especially countries who play a large role in the bloc - such as Indonesia , Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore - should do more to promote global cooperation and consensus in the region, particularly through confidence building measures.

The article reckoned that the “building a strategic trust” initiative, which was launched by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the Shangri-la Dialogue Forum in Singapore in May 2013, is considered the "red line" for the ASEAN countries motivated to build a close relationship and trust for their mutual interests , security, stability and prosperity.-VNA