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ASEM Instructs FMs to Discuss Enlargement in Future Meetings
    2008-10-26 01:36:04     Xinhua

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) issued a Chair's Statement here on Saturday, instructing the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue of enlargement in their future meetings.

The statement said the leaders reaffirmed the role of ASEM as a multi-faceted dialogue facilitator and the key cooperation areas identified in the Helsinki Declaration on the Future of ASEM for its second decade.

They adopted various cooperation initiatives put forward by partners and the ASEM Work Program for 2008-2010.

With the increasing number of initiatives and meetings at various levels in ASEM, Leaders reaffirmed the importance of developing effective ways of communication within ASEM members to support ASEM cooperation in the near future.

The statement said the leaders tasked Senior Officials to further explore ways to achieve greater visibility of ASEM and welcomed European Commission's efforts in this regard and Vietnam's initiative on the first SOM Meeting on "Coordinating Cultural Activities for the Enhancement of ASEM Visibility".

Leaders instructed the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue of enlargement in their future meetings.

The statement said the leaders accepted with gratitude Belgium's offer to host ASEM 8 and looked forward to meeting again in 2010.

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 7) was held in Beijing on 24 and 25 October 2008. The Meeting was the first gathering of the leaders of 45 members of ASEM since its second round of enlargement.



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