ASEAN and EAS talks
I arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday to participate in ASEAN and East Asia Summit (EAS) ministers’ talks. Yesterday ASEAN and Australia held the annual dialogue of foreign ministers.
Australia was ASEAN’s first dialogue partner. This is one of our country’s most important relationships and we are committed to continuing to strengthen and deepen our long-standing partnership.
During the dialogue I discussed Australia’s approach to security challenges including counter-terrorism and non-proliferation and potential opportunities to advance economic integration and financial cooperation in the region. I also had the opportunity to raise these issues in separate bilateral talks.
I emphasised the importance of EAS countries working together to implement a 2011 Australia-Indonesia disaster management initiative, improving information sharing, and promoting collaboration in responding to natural disasters in East Asia.
Today I am participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum, comprising EAS foreign ministers and those of eight other nations including Canada and Pakistan and high level representation from the European Union.
The Forum is expected to discuss current regional security issues, including maritime security, the Korean Peninsula and ways to combat non-traditional security threats such as terrorism and transnational crime.
Regional groups like the EAS and ASEAN Regional Forum, which include the big powers of the United States and China as well as others in Asia, can promote a stable, rules-based order.
With Australia’s trade with EAS nations valued last year at $412 billion, the region’s ongoing security and stability is vital to our nation’s future prosperity.