Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on April 24 met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after arriving in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, on the same day to attend the 22nd ASEAN Summit.

At the meeting, the two sides highly valued the robust development of bilateral relations over the past time and promised to urge ministries and departments to work together timely and effectively in implementing cooperation contents under the Vietnam–Indonesia Action Programme for the 2012–2015 period.

They appreciated the efficiency of the bilateral cooperation mechanism, including the Foreign Minister-level Bilateral Cooperation Committee and the Joint Committee on economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Indonesia was valued at 4.6 billion USD in 2012 and is expected to increase to 5 billion USD before 2015.

In order to lift the two countries’ relations to a new level, the two leaders agreed that ministries and departments should work together to upgrade their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership on the occasion of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to Indonesia this year.

Regarding regional and international issues, Dung said he hopes Indonesia will continue assisting the ASEAN Chair, along with Vietnam and other ASEAN member nations, in promoting the bloc’s goals, such as community building and upholding ASEAN’s central role in the region, contributing to peace, security and development in the region, including peace and stability in the East Sea.

Yudhoyono vowed that his country will work closely with Vietnam to strengthen solidarity, build the community and bring ASEAN’s central role into full play.

The two leaders agreed that 2013 is a key year to speed up regional cooperation towards realising the goal of establishing the ASEAN Community by 2015. Consequently, regional nations should step up efforts to fulfill the agenda on time.

Discussing the East Sea situation, they affirmed that peace, stability, maritime security and safety are the common concern and benefit of ASEAN and related countries.

For this reason, according to them, ASEAN needs to uphold solidarity and common voice, promote basic principles of common consent, particularly in complying with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They shared the view that the region should not further complicate the situation, settle any disputes by peaceful means, fully and effectively implement ASEAN’s Declaration on the Six-Point Principles, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN and Chinese leaders’ commitments at the ASEAN–China Joint Declaration on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the DOC, and soon formulate a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Themed “Our people, Our future”, the 22 nd ASEAN Summit will discuss several topics, including ASEAN’s 2013 priorities; accelerating ASEAN community formation and future orientation; as well as expanding the bloc’s external relations and promoting ASEAN’s central role in the shaping of regional structure.

During the summit, ASEAN leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern, particularly those that ensure peace, security and development cooperation in the region and East Sea issue, as well as cooperation in adapting to challenges such as environmental change, natural disasters, epidemics and other non-traditional security challenges.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA