The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, today co-chaired, together with Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, the annual EU-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference.
In her opening remarks, the High Representative spoke about moving forward with the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, enhanced connectivity between Europe and Asia, the need to support the rules-based international order, and effective multilateralism.
Federica Mogherini held a number of bilateral meetings in the margins of the ministerial.
She met the Minister of International Cooperation of Myanmar, Kyaw Tin, and reiterated the EU’s readiness to continue its constructive dialogue and engagement with the civilian government to address key outstanding issues such as accountability, humanitarian access and the establishment of conditions in Rakhine State conducive to safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Rohingya. They also discussed Myanmar's ongoing peace and democratisation processes.
The meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters reconfirmed the strong EU-New Zealand partnership and discussed areas for further cooperation, on issues such as security, and climate change, as well as broader Pacific matters. They also discussed the current state of negotiations for an EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
Federica Mogherini discussed with the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, the ongoing monitoring and engagement under the EU’s unilaterally granted Everything but Arms trade preferences scheme. Under the scheme, Cambodia is required to respect core human rights and labour rights, and the High Representative reiterated the need for concrete and credible improvement on issues of concern.
With the Foreign Minister of Thailand, Don Pramudwinai, the High Representative/Vice-President discussed the further development of bilateral relations following the general election and Thailand’s priorities during its Chairmanship of ASEAN this year.
The High Representative’s meeting with with Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi emphasised the strong state of bilateral relations, as well as pressing international issues such as the Afghanistan peace process, the situation in Rakhine, the Middle East and the Gulf. They also addressed issues related to palm oil.
Federica Mogherini and the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi focused on the follow-up to the most recent EU-China Summit, including trade and investment issues. They discussed increased cooperation on the Afghanistan peace process, Iran, Venezuela and the South China Sea.
In their first meeting since his appointment as Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Federica Mogherini underlined the importance of further developing the EU-India partnership. They agreed to intensify cooperation on the Afghanistan peace process and the implementation of the JCPoA – the Iran nuclear deal.
With Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the High Representative discussed further deepening EU-Japan relations, especially with a view to delivering on the commitments made in conjunction with the April 2019 EU-Japan Summit in and the June 2019 G20 Summit. The two also exchanged views on the latest developments on the situation in the Gulf.
The Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister, Kyung-hwa Kang and the High Representative reconfirmed the strong EU-Republic of Korea partnership. The two also addressed recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and possible ways forward in the ongoing diplomatic processes. The High Representative reiterated the EU's full support for the Republic of Korea's efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, free of nuclear weapons.