Indonesia urges EAS to continue building “strategic trust” hinh anh 1At the 15th East Asia Summit (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) -
Indonesian President Joko Widodo sent a clear message that as a leader-level dialogue forum, the East Asia Summit (EAS) must continue to build “strategic trust” and strengthen cooperation in the region, especially to deal with COVID-19, the country’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

The minister made the remarks during a virtual press conference after attending the 15th EAS in the form of video conference hosted by Vietnam on November 14.

2020 is a very tough year for all, but no matter how difficult the situation is, the countries will be able to overcome it if they work together, she added.

According to Marsudi, the EAS boasts huge resources as five EAS members are in the UN Security Council and eight members in the G20.

The EAS represents 54 percent of the world's population and contributes 58 percent to the world’s GDP. With this potential, agreements and efforts made by the EAS will definitely have a big impact on the region and the world, she noted.

Widodo said that the EAS must first increase health security cooperation as health issues have become a priority in the EAS and must obtain greater attention, the minister said.

In the near future, the availability of vaccines in the region is a must, she underlined.

According to the Indonesian President, several things that must be prioritised include a system for dealing with pandemics, a drug mechanism, medical equipment in times of emergency, the establishment of an "inventory buffer" in the area for medical devices and the capacity of the health industry and health technology research.

In addition, the EAS must be a driver of world peace and stability. The seeds of division and conflicts should not be allowed while unity must be put forward in fighting COVID-19.

At the summit, Widodo reminded the values and norms in the 'Bali Principle', starting from respecting sovereignty, solving problems peacefully, to respecting international law. 

The President also stressed the importance of prioritising international law, mutually beneficial dialogue and cooperation. That spirit is carried in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Widodo also called on all EAS countries to work together to create a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific, Marsudi said./.