Prince Mohamed co-chairs Asean meeting with EU

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamad Bolkiah, Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday attended the Asean Ministerial Meeting with the European Union at the National Convention in Hanoi, Vietnam.

His Royal Highness who co-chaired the Asean-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting, in his sabda stressed that Asean would continue to upgrade cooperation with the European Union in partnership for trade and investment.

His Royal Highness also touched on existing relations with the European Union and strengthening of cooperation between the two sides, RTB reported.

Before attending the meeting, His Royal Highness held a goodwill meeting with Janof Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, that is currently holding the EU presidency.

In the morning, His Royal Highness attended the Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting with China. The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnam and China. Asean reaffirmed its commitment to ensure the successful conclusion of the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on the Asean-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity for the period of 2005-2010 and agreed to develop a new Plan of Action for the period of 2011 to 2015, to submit to the leaders for their adoption at the 13th Asean-China Summit in Hanoi in October.

Asean recalled the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Asean-China Centre in Beijing last October and looked forward to the early operation of the Centre. Asean would work closely with China in undertaking meaningful activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Asean-China Dialogue Relations.

His Royal Highness also attended the Asean Ministerial Meeting with the United States of America.

The meeting was co-chaired by the United States and the Philippines.

Asean ministers looked forward to the convening of the second Asean-US Leaders' Meeting later this year and noted the progress of its preparation, including the drafting of the proposed outcome documents, namely the Joint Statement and the Asean-US Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah yesterday joined other Asean foreign ministers, Dialogue Partners, members of the Asean Regional Forum, and spouses, at a gala dinner hosted by Vietnam Deputy Premier Pham Gia Khiem, Chairman of the 43rd Asean Ministerial Meeting.

Also attending the dinner were HRH Princess Hjh Masna and YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Abdul Aziz.

Meanwhile, Xinhua reported Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi as saying on Thursday that China vows to enhance cooperation with Asean in six areas.

Yang made the remarks at the China-Asean Ministerial Meeting with participation of foreign ministers or their representatives from 10 member states of Association of Southeast East Asian Nations (Asean) and China.

First, Yang urged China and Asean to hasten the drafting of an action plan guiding China-Asean cooperation in the 2011-2015 period.

Yang said China and Asean will embrace the 20th anniversary of establishment of dialogue relations next year. The two sides should hold a series of activities to celebrate the event.

Secondly, Yang said China and Asean should deepen the development of China- Asean Free Trade Area and oppose protectionism in any form.

China and Asean should strengthen cooperation on various industrial sectors and technology innovation, said Yang.

Thirdly, Yang said China-Asean Investment Cooperation Fund has been put into operation. China will continue to support Asean in strengthening connectivity within the bloc.

Fourthly, China and Asean should enhance cooperation on finance, poverty reduction, environmental protection, defense and non-traditional security issues, Yang said.

Fifthly, the Chinese foreign minister said China and Asean should expand friendly exchanges of youth, media and non- government organization.

Finally, Yang said China and Asean should strengthen coordination on major international and regional issues.

At the meeting, Yang said China will continue to support the building of Asean Community through bilateral and multilateral channels. Yang reaffirmed that Asean should maintain centrality in East Asian cooperation. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd July 2010)