Prince Mohamed Bolkiah co-chairs 19th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting
Rokiah Mahmud

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday co-chaired the 19th Asean-European Union (EU) Ministerial Meeting with Lady Catherine Ashton, Baroness of Upholland and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

The 19th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting was held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

At the meeting, ministers reviewed the current status of Asean-EU cooperation, considered ways to enhance future relations and exchanged views on regional and international affairs.

The meeting adopted the "Co-Chairs" statement of the 19th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting, "The Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the Asean-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017)", and issued a "Joint Press Release on Asean-EU 35 Years of Friendship and Cooperation".

HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, together with Lady Catherine Ashton and Dr Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary General of Asean, gave a press conference following the meeting.

At the press conference, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the biennial inter-regional dialogues and the status of the Asean-EU partnership.

HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah also stated that the meeting adopted the new Plan of Action which included a proposal for strengthening the Asean Secretariat. His Royal Highness added that the ministers had an exchange of views on regional and international affairs, including the situation in the Middle East, financial and economic developments in Europe and other security concerns.

On the same day, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah held bilateral meetings with Mr William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom; Guido Westerwelle, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany; and Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Luxembourg. - Borneo Bulletin (28 April 2012)