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EU, ASEAN agree to beef up cooperation

The European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to boost cooperation in the spheres of mutual interests during a meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on February 11.

The two sides were unanimous to intensify collaboration in economy-trade-investment, adaptation to emerging challenges, especially the Fourth Industrial Revolution, connectivity promotion, transport, health care, sustainable development, anti-terrorism, prevention of transnational crime, cyber security, and maritime security.

They also agreed to soon complete the ASEAN-EU Air Transport Deal and step up efforts towards the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.

Regarding regional and international issues, countries shared the situation of coping with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and agreed to organise a teleconference between ASEAN and EU to share experience in the field.

As regards East Sea issues, countries continued stressing the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation.

They called on the involved parties to settle disputes via peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Participants also backed the efforts of ASEAN and China in implementing effectively the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Countries congratulated Vietnam on fulfilling its missions as President of the UN Security Council in January 2020.

As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam on behalf of the association affirmed to continue promoting close relations between ASEAN and its partners, including the EU./