ASEAN to review partner contributions to common goals

By Anh Ngoc   September 2, 2020 | 04:00 am PT
ASEAN members have agreed to review the bloc’s external relations to assess the role partner nations have played in achieving common goals.

"Now more than ever, the central role of ASEAN needs to be given top priority through proactive and balanced intervention," reads a statement of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Tuesday.

The online meeting, hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, provided an opportunity for ASEAN members to discuss their external relationships towards building a strategic and effective approach amid the fast-changing, complicated situation in the region and world, the statement said.

It said ASEAN members have agreed on the need to review criteria for recognition as a partner country towards ensuring that the bloc’s central role and partners’ interests are met.

Deputy PM Dung stressed the urgency of the review process and urged member countries to make haste in reviewing and establishing the partnership criteria.

ASEAN currently has partner relationships with 16 countries and bloc, including eight strategic partners - Australia, China, the E.U., India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the U.S.

ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has 10 members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The 36th ASEAN Summit, with Vietnam as chair, took place online in June because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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