ASEAN - MALAYSIA NATIONAL SECRETARIAT

OUTCOME OF THE 22ND ASEAN-EU MINISTERIAL MEETING BRUSSELS, BELGIUM 21 JANUARY 2019

OUTCOME OF THE 22ND ASEAN-EU MINISTERIAL MEETING

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

21 JANUARY 2019

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah led the Malaysian delegation to the 22nd ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) on 21 January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

The meeting was co-chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan which is presently the country coordinator for ASEAN-EU dialogue relations. Both sides exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest, including progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action (2018-2022) and the future direction of relations between the two organisations.

The Ministers discussed priority areas in the context of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations, encompassing political-security, economic, trade, connectivity and sustainable development dimensions. The Ministers also exchanged views on key regional and international issues.

In his intervention, the Foreign Minister reiterated Malaysia’s position vis-à-vis action undertaken by the EU which would adversely affect the interests of palm oil-producing states in ASEAN. In this connection, Malaysia expressed the view that the proposed elevation of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations to a Strategic Partnership should be deferred to a later stage. Indonesia put forward the same recommendation.

The Foreign Minister also expressed Malaysia’s hope that ASEAN and the EU would intensify efforts to consolidate their relations, building on existing areas of cooperation underpinned by the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action (2018-2022).

On initiatives to combat terrorism, the Foreign Minister underlined the role of capacity-building programmes pursued by Malaysia under the auspices of the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT).

The Joint Statement of the 22nd AEMM was adopted at the meeting. Although the ASEAN and EU Foreign Ministers agreed in principle to upgrade ASEAN-EU dialogue relations to a Strategic Partnership, they decided that details and timing would be worked out in due course, as a result of the concerns raised by Malaysia and Indonesia. Through the joint statement, the Ministers also welcomed the establishment of a joint working group between the EU and relevant ASEAN Member States to address issues relating to palm oil.

PUTRAJAYA

23 January 2019

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