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Stronger EAS Vital For Peace, Security In The Region – Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR – The desire of the East Asia Summit (EAS), comprising also key powers like the United States, China and Russia, for a deeper and broader dialogue and cooperation towards enhancing political-security, strategic confidence and trust in the region has been welcomed.

“This cannot come at a more critical time, with the existence of international issues which require our attention.

“In this, we are convinced that a stronger EAS will further contribute to peace and security in the region,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when chairing the meeting.

The adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th anniversary of the EAS at the ASEAN-related summits here today was also timely to build a stronger EAS, he said.

The high-powered forum, that lasted more than two hours, was attended by all the 10 ASEAN leaders and the leaders of the eight other EAS members, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

Among the leaders present were US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and ASEAN secretary-general Le Luong Minh also attended the meeting.

Najib said the EAS, set up 10 years ago as a platform to facilitate discussion on strategic issues pertaining to the region, was today acknowledged as one of ASEAN’s successes and placed in the forefront among regional organisations.

He noted that the inclusion of the United States and Russia in 2011 had also significantly changed the landscape of this ASEAN mechanism.

“Geo-political shifts have created greater interest in this region, and with it grew interest in the East Asia Summit, given its regional leadership and unique composition,” he said.

Najib also said that the EAS had enabled the major powers in the region to discuss issues of common interest and concern, based on the agenda and methods of work set by ASEAN.

“Among the East Asia Summit’s significant principles is its role in facilitating efforts to promote acceptable norms of behaviour.

“Further, it actively contributes to the creation of a rules-based approach in managing inter-State relations in the region,” he said. – BERNAMA

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