ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) – Political developments in Asia and Europe, counter-terrorism and migration will be among the topics to be discussed at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) beginning here Friday.
Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya, who is concurrently designated to Mongolia, said focus will also be given to other current issues such as human rights, drug trafficking, inter-religious dialogues, transnational crimes and human trafficking.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is scheduled to arrive here Thursday afternoon as head of the Malaysian delegation to ASEM, will also state Malaysia’s views and stand during the retreat session.
“The ASEM senior officials meeting today has also concurred with Malaysia’s request to incorporate the concept of moderation in the Ulaanbaatar Declaration and Chair’s Statement,” he said at a briefing for Malaysian media covering the Summit, here today.
In recent months, European and Asian countries have been grappling with issues concerning human trafficking, refugees and violence, especially involving the Daesh group.
Zainuddin said ASEM was an important platform and forum for Malaysia to promote collaborations in politics, economics, commerce and socio-cultural issues among Asian and European countries.
He said Zahid had also received requests from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Prime Minister of Slovenia Miro Cerar for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Summit.
Zainuddin also said that in line with the theme of the Summit “20 years of ASEM: Partnership for Future through Connectivity”, the leaders are expected to discuss ASEM’s achievements over the past 20 years and its future direction.
Zahid is expected to participate and forward Malaysia’s views during the First Plenary Session which is titled “Two Decades of Partnership: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead.”
The Second Plenary Session, “Promoting ASEM Partnership for Greater Connectivity” will discuss issues concerning building connectivity between Asia and Europe, climate change, sustainable development, water shortage and management, as well as ASEM’s framework and future direction.
ASEM was formed in March 1996 with the First Summit attended by leaders from six ASEAN nations, China, Japan and South Korea, as well as leaders from the European Union and European Commission (EC).
The first ASEM Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand, and the 10th in Milan,
Italy in 2014.
The ASEM Summit is a platform for dialogue and involvement of Asian and European leaders, and is held every two years in European and Asian nations.
It is also the highest decision maker in ASEM.ASEM’s main activities comprise interactions in three main areas – political dialogues, economic and cultural collaborations. – BERNAMA