As the incoming chair of ASEAN in 2022, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, briefed the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) held virtually on Oct. 5, 2021 on the initial schedules and arrangements for some key events next year.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister also congratulated Brunei Darussalam for the commendable chairmanship of ASEAN 2021 in realising many important deliverables. On external relations, in Cambodia’s capacity as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Russia relations, he briefed the meeting on the upcoming 4th ASEAN-Russia Summit and its outcome documents. He reiterated Cambodia’s support for the proposed establishment of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership by both China and Australia.

On regional and international issues, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister expressed concerns on the increasing geopolitical tensions and major power rivalries that could jeopardise stability, peace and security in the region. He reaffirmed the importance of adhering to the objectives and principles outlined in the ASEAN Charter, Treat of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia, Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN), Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). On Myanmar and implementation of the five-point consensus, he also shared major lessons learnt from the long but successful process of peace and national reconciliation in Cambodia.

During the meeting, the Ministers welcomed the progress made in achieving ASEAN’s 2021 key deliverables and looked forward to the subsequent adoption of these deliverables by the ASEAN Leaders at the upcoming ASEAN Summits.

The Meeting exchanged views on strengthening and expanding constructive engagements with ASEAN external partners. The Meeting agreed on commencing ASEAN-UK cooperation framework and preparation of a five-year ASEAN-UK Action Plan. It was agreed that Brunei Darussalam serve as the first Country Coordinator for ASEAN-UK dialogue relations for 2021-2024. The Meeting also agreed with the proposals made by China and Russia to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China and ASEAN-Russia Relations this year.

The Meeting also exchanged views on regional and international issues and reaffirmed common desire to upholding the spirit of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN), Treaty on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), nuclear disarmament, in the context of the evolving regional architecture that is marred with major power rivalries and tensions.

The Ministers discussed on how to expedite smooth delivery of ASEAN’s humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and emphasised on the urgent need to achieve progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus, beyond the relief provision.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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