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Peters to attend ASEAN meetings in Singapore

Saturday 19 July 2008, 5:10PM

By Rt Hon Winston Peters

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Foreign Minister Winston Peters will attend the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum in Singapore next week, followed by meetings with South West Pacific Dialogue partners and East Asia Summit foreign ministers.

ASEAN comprises 10 South East Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

"In Singapore, New Zealand will engage with ASEAN on a range of common interests. These include New Zealand’s long running development co-operation relationship with ASEAN and reviewing other collaborative activities under a Framework of Cooperation agreed in 2006," said Mr Peters.

"The ASEAN Regional Forum, involving 27 countries, will discuss political and security issues of common interest such as disaster preparedness and relief and the impact of food and energy price increases.
"The South West Pacific Dialogue meeting with the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand is a forum to discuss sub-regional developments including security, maritime issues, and cultural interaction.

"New Zealand has been an ASEAN Dialogue partner for over 30 years and it is a partnership we greatly value. Other Dialogue Partners are Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

"The East Asia Summit brings together ASEAN plus China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India and New Zealand, to find ways of enhancing cooperation in areas such as energy security, and economic and financial initiatives.

"Taken together, this week provides an unrivalled opportunity to strengthen and broaden our relationships with Asia," said Mr Peters.