Foreign ministers and diplomats from ASEAN member countries discussed a wide range of issues regarding the East Asian Summit at the Special Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the East Asian Summit (EAS), held in Bangkok , Thailand on April 11.
While deliberating the Summit’s prospects following Russia and the US joining EAS, delegates agreed that the expansion would affect the regional development structure, Indonesia Foreign Minister Marty M. Natalegawa said at a press briefing on the same day.
The meeting also discussed measures to maintain the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), scenarios where EAS would be seen as a leading forum to heighten ASEAN’s position and contributions at international forums, and where EAS would have capacity to cope with both current and emerging issues.
The issue of ensuring maritime security was also put on the table.
Delegates highlighted the need for ASEAN to uphold its leading role in creating plans to deal with traditional and non-traditional challenges and raise initiatives to avoid the adverse impacts of geopolitical changes.
ASEAN is seen as capable of influencing the flow of events to turn challenges into opportunities, enhancing peace, stability and prosperity.
This process must be conducted on the basis of cooperation, including the cooperation between ASEAN and EAS participants, and sensitivity to the bloc’s current position on the issues.
A Vietnamese delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the event.