Vietnam proposes ideas to deepen ASEAN ties with 10 partners hinh anh 1Heads of delegations participating in ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting (Source: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has proposed initiatives to deepen ASEAN ties with 10 of its partners including China, the Republic of Korea, India, Russia, the US, the EU, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 

Priority should be on boosting connectivity; narrowing the development gap; and improving the capacity to cope with emerging threats such as trans-national crime, maritime security and safety, disaster management and epidemic prevention, he said, speaking to the ASEAN+1 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings with 10 dialogue partners in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 5. 

The Vietnamese representative also spoke highly of the partners’ support for ASEAN in its community building and maintenance of ASEAN’s central role in the region. 

He pointed out advantages and challenges facing the region, important issues regarding the regional security architecture, cooperation among ASEAN member states and between ASEAN with partners for peace, stability and development in the region. 

He expressed concern over the ongoing complicated developments in the East Sea that have changed the status quo and seriously threaten peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea. 

The senior official also urged countries to continue supporting ASEAN and peace and stability in the region as well as pushing parties concerned to abide by basic principles on the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law—especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, refrain from the use of force and threat to use force, exercise self-restraint, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and shortly formulate a Code of Conduct in the East Sea. 

On behalf of Vietnam as a Country Coordinator of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, Deputy PM Minh also co-chaired the ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and highly valued the positive progress of bilateral ties over the past three years with the first-ever informal ASEAN-EU Summit held in May 2014 as a key milestone. 

He called for pushing forward coordination across priority fields of trade, investment, connectivity, development gap narrowing and improving capacity to deal with non-traditional security challenges such as disaster management, climate change and anti-terrorism. 

The Deputy PM suggested devising a roadmap towards an ASEAN-EU strategic partnership and considering the organisation of an ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in 2017 to mark the 40 th anniversary of their dialogue relations. 

At the end of the meeting, Vietnam transferred the role of coordinator for ASEAN-EU relations to Thailand while assuming the role of country coordinator for ASEAN-India relations in the 2015-2018 period.-VNA