ASEAN agreed to add 4 more partners
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ASEAN agreed to add 4 more partners

ASEAN has granted Development Partnership status to France and Italy, and accepted Columbia and Cuba to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh said.

With the UK’s proposal to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the Association recognizes the important role of the UK in terms of regional and international position, in the extensive relations between the UK and other countries.

`The Association’s countries are considering Britain’s proposal, based on ASEAN regulations, cooperation results and commitments of countries in general, when wanting to become dialogue partners,` Mr. Minh said.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh at the press conference ending AMM on the afternoon of September 12 in Hanoi.

On September 7, Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam, said that as the role and position of ASEAN is increasing, the Association has received many requests to establish partnerships with ASEAN.

Within the framework of AMM 53 and related conferences, ASEAN’s current partners continue to express their respect for ASEAN and support ASEAN’s central role in shaping an open and rules-based regional structure.

Currently, ASEAN’s main partners are China, Russia, the US, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the EU.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said that the topic of strategic competition between major countries has been discussed in ASEAN mechanisms, including EAS and ARF, when Southeast Asia is a region with an important strategic position.

ASEAN ministers have affirmed their determination to maintain peace, security, neutrality and stability in the Southeast Asia region, strengthen solidarity, self-reliance, and promote the central role of ASEAN;

The statement `demonstrates the central role of ASEAN and the Association does not want to be caught in competition between countries, affecting the peace and stability of the region,` Mr. Minh emphasized.

When China raised a number of initiatives, including linking the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan 2025 (MPAC) with Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, the global security data initiative, the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the East Sea issue is raised in all ASEAN conferences, in the spirit of calling on all parties to contribute to building the East Sea as a coastal zone of peace, stability, and freedom of navigation at sea.

`For countries that are members of UNCLOS such as Vietnam, China and other ASEAN countries, compliance with the Convention is natural,` Mr. Minh said, answering the question of whether China has complied with UNCLOS.

During the AMM 53 conference series, ASEAN emphasized the importance and benefits of peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, affirming that this is the common interest of all.

Regarding the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam said that the fund so far has a total budget of more than 4 million USD, from contributions from ASEAN and its partners.

Participating in a press conference from the bridgehead in Jakarta, Indonesia, ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi said ASEAN will go through three stages in the overall recovery framework due to the impact of Covid-19.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, AMM 53 and related conferences approved 42 documents, including the Joint Communiqué of the AMM-53 Conference and the Hanoi Action Plan II of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the 37th ASEAN Summit, the conference ending Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship year, will take place in November, with the hope that countries will control Covid-19 well.

`Vietnam is actively preparing to organize a face-to-face conference. That is Vietnam’s determination and we hope ASEAN countries and partners will support that determination,` Mr. Minh said.


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