The 49 th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 49) opened in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, on July 24 under the chair of Laos, the rotary Chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.
|The 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting opens in Vientiane (Source: VNA)|
The Vietnamese delegation to the meeting is led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. In an opening speech, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith stressed that AMM 49 and related meetings are taking place at a crucial moment when ASEAN is making all-out efforts to implement the ASEAN Vision to 2025 and strengthen its partnership with outside partners. At the same time, the regional and world situation is seeing rapid changes which bring both opportunities and challenges. The Lao PM, therefore, called on foreign ministers of ASEAN and partner countries hold candid and constructive discussions to prepare for the 28 th and 29 th ASEAN Summits and related meetings scheduled for early September in Vientiane, as well as to contribute to maintaining and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world as a whole. Addressing the ceremony, Lao Foreign Minister Saleumsay Kommasith highlighted the great strides made by ASEAN during nearly 50 years of its existence, not only in expanding the bloc’s membership but also achieving the formation of the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015. He stressed that the bloc’s success is attributable to peace and stability in the region and the active cooperation of member countries. During their meeting, ASEAN foreign ministers are to discuss issues related to intra-bloc cooperation, community building and the bloc’s external relations, including accelerating the implementation of the blueprint on realising the ASEAN Politicial-Security Community’s Vision to 2025, enhancing the ASEAN’s central role, reforming the bloc’s apparatus and working style as well as considering the revision of the ASEAN Charter. The meeting is also expected to consider Timor Leste’s proposal to join the ASEAN and countries’ requests to participate in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia or to become official partners of the bloc.