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ASEAN 2020: Vietnam proposes postponing 36th ASEAN Summit, related meetings

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 19 wrote to leaders of ASEAN countries and New Zealand proposing that the 36th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit and related meetings, initially scheduled for April 8-9 in Vietnam’s Da Nang city, be postponed until the end of June. 

In his letter, PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam has basically completed organizational work for the events, but the postponement is necessary in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic spreading in the region and the world, and being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The Vietnamese Government leader expressed thanks to the countries for working together with Vietnam to promote the building of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community. 

He affirmed that with resolve and joint efforts, solidarity and mutual compassion, the ASEAN Community will stand firm in the face of challenges, ensure a peaceful life for its people and prosperous development of its member countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung handed over the PM’s letter to the Ambassadors of ASEAN countries and New Zealand at a meeting in Hanoi on March 19.

The Deputy FM called on ASEAN countries to push ahead with efforts to maintain cooperation and connection, and promote the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community in the current difficult period under the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.

He asked ASEAN member states to continue coordinate closely to mitigate the epidemic’s negative effects on the process of building the ASEAN Community as well as on socio-economic situations in member countries.

He informed the ambassadors on measures that Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair this year, will actively promoted in the time ahead in order to keep the pace of ASEAN working plans and bolster cooperation in preventing and controlling the epidemic.

On the occasion, representatives from the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department informed the ASEAN Embassies about Vietnam’s measures to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic

Ambassadors of ASEAN countries praised Vietnam’s preparations for ASEAN events and its effective response to the epidemic. They expressed support of the decision of the ASEAN Chair and pledged to continue working closely with Vietnam to prepare for the 36th ASEAN Summit.