EU diplomat underscores importance of strong ASEAN cooperation
MANILA, Philippines — A European Union (EU) foreign affairs official has emphasized the significance of strengthened cooperation to ensure peace, security, and prosperity during the ASEAN Defense Minister Meetings Plus.
According to Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, events unfolding in Asia have an effect on Europe, and vice versa — hence the need for stronger collaboration.
Borell attended the summit hosted by Vietnam, albeit virtually, on Wednesday.
“We live in a shrinking world in which peace, security, and prosperity in Asia are essential for that of Europe,” Borell said.
“Having just upgraded our relations with ASEAN to a Strategic Partnership, let us work together towards these goals – in Asia and beyond,” he added.
He also noted that EU and ASEAN share “a commitment to a rules-based international order and to the promotion of international stability and security”, insisting on multilateralism and regional integration instead of relying on military might.
Borell likewise highlighted the EU’s track record in terms of security cooperation with the ASEAN, mentioning missions where the EU joined in like the implementation of the peace agreement in Aceh, Indonesia, and the support for the resolution of the armed struggle within the Philippines, specifically the Mindanao Peace Process.
“Mirroring the EU’s steps to strengthen its own security and defense policy in recent years, and reflecting the common challenges faced by the EU and its Asian partners, requiring a collective response and increased cooperation, the European Union has been stepping up its security and defense engagement in and with Asia,” EU said.
Borell cited the EU’s decision to send experts to coordinate with ASEAN member-states in counter-terrorism and cybersecurity efforts.
“The EU is also deploying a military advisor to the EU Delegation in Jakarta to promote contacts, understanding and joint activities with Indonesia, ASEAN and other ASEAN member states,” EU said.
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