ASEAN Foreign Ministers attend the online AMM 53. (Photo: VNA)

He highly appreciated the host country's impressive technical and logistical approaches at these events, taking into account the fact that the members of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) are located in 4 continents with different time zones.

According to Ambassador Igor Driesmans, the events took place at a time when Europe, Southeast Asia and the entire world were facing COVID-19. Although they were held online, the 27th ARF and the ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting served as an "important reminder" of the value that all participants saw in solving problems and strengthening cooperation at a time of uncertainty. This joint effort was reflected in the ARF Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Prevent and Respond to Infectious Disease Outbreaks, which was agreed and called on by all participant countries, in order to to strengthen solidarity and regional cooperation in addressing the current pandemic and preventing future outbreaks.

"Our main message is that the EU continues to be a reliable and predictable partner of ASEAN," Ambassador Igor Driesmans stressed, adding that in addition to responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and the EUR800 million (USD920 million) "European Group" support package for ASEAN countries, the EU emphasized the importance of looking forward to the future. 

The European diplomat affirmed that the EU urged the parties to make more progress in negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Sharing the same assessment with the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet, Head of SOM ASEAN Laos, highly appreciated the organization of AMM 53 and related meetings by Vietnam, the ASEAN President 2020. He congratulated Vietnam on not only successfully organizing all events according to the set objectives, but also completing the exchange and discussion of documents as planned in the context of complicated COVID-19 developments in the region and around the world./.

Compiled by BTA