ASEAN Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Strengthen Cooperation
During the Plenary Session of the 35th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday (2/11), leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) highlighted the importance of cooperation amidst global uncertainties and lower economic growth.
“The ASEAN leaders, including President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, believe that cooperation is crucial for ASEAN,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters, Saturday (2/11).
Retno added that strengthening the cooperation is also important for the ASEAN because Southeast Asia, compared to other regions, is in a better situation, both in terms of political stability and in economic growth. “The ASEAN leaders have also expressed optimism in completing negotiations on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),” she said.
Retno went on to say that during the Plenary Session, President Jokowi raised three points.
The first point concerns the Indopacific Forum, which in line with the fact that Indonesia will host the Indopacific Infrastructure and Connectivity Forum in 2020.
The second point is the issue of Rakhine State in Myanmar. The President, she added, has expressed readiness to contribute in the Ad Hoc Task Force Team to solve Rakhine issue.
The President also said that dialogue with refugees at Cox’s Bazar and at Rakhine State needs to continue because dialogue and communication will maintain the trust and the trust will be significant for the voluntary, safe, and dignified repatriation, Retno added.
The third point, Retno said, is that the President called on relevant parties to follow up priority projects that have been agreed on by technical working groups of ASEAN and Myanmar.
“There are several priorities for cooperation to be followed up immediately. President Jokowi said that Indonesia is ready to contribute. We don’t just talk but we walk the talk. We give our contribution,” the Foreign Minister said. (SLN/RAH/ES)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Ersan Pamungkas