HRH leaves Madrid after co-chairing meet

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said both Asean and the EU were evolving very quickly, EU with its new Lisbon Treaty and Asean with its Asean Charter.

His Royal Highness said this in his opening statement highlighting the strategic importance of Asean-EU dialogue relations and highlighted the achievements of Asean-EU partnership at the 18th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting in Madrid, Spain.

HRH added, "So, this is the first time we have all met under these new arrangements. And that's why this meeting is quite a special one. There's a lot happening and a lot of new challenges and we both have new systems. But I hope we can concentrate on positive things and strengthen our new partnership. Because, whatever else is going on in the world today, I think one thing is absolutely certain."

HRH said Europe and Southeast Asia need each other maybe more than ever before. "That is the basis of the 'enhanced partnership' we set in Nuremberg a couple of years ago, both in the short term as we deal with the present financial and economic situation, and in the long term, especially in trade and overall capacity building."

HRH Prince Mohamed co-chaired the 18th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting with Miguel Angel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, on Wednesday.

Ministers assessed current cooperation and considered ways to strengthen future relations. HRH joined colleagues at a working lunch, where regional and international affairs were discussed.

Ministers adopted the 'Madrid 18th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting Co-Chair's Statement'. HRH Prince Mohamed joined Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan and Minister Moratinos at the post meeting press conference.

HRH also held bilateral meetings with Co-Chairman Minister Moratinos of Spain and Guido Westerwelle, Deputy Chancellor and Federal Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Meanwhile, HRH Prince Mohamed on Wednesday evening joined other Asean and EU Foreign Ministers at a dinner hosted by Miguel Angel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, at the Palacio de Santa Cruz. HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah left Madrid yesterday (May 27). - Borneo Bulletin (28th May 2010)