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ASEAN+3 leaders to further enhance cooperation

Cambodia,Diplomacy, Mon, 19 Nov 2012 IANS

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Nov 19 (IANS) The ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) Summit was held here Monday to discuss measures and actions to further enhance their cooperation in the future.

The summit was held between the leaders of the ten?country ASEAN led by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the leaders of the +3 countries, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung?bak, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, reported Xinhua.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Hun Sen said the summit was to review the progress of the ASEAN+3 Cooperation and ASEAN+3 future cooperation directions and the exchange of views on regional and international issues.

"During the past 15 years, ASEAN+3 countries have been carrying out cooperation more deeply, covering 66 institutions in 22 priority areas, ranging from politics and security to economics, finance, trade and investment, connectivity and socio?cultural affairs," he said.

"We are pleased to see the fruitful achievements in all fields from the ASEAN+3 cooperation," he said

"The Plus 3 countries have become a strong partnership for ASEAN, contributing to the development of ASEAN and ensuring peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region," Hun Sen said.

He added that the future support by the Plus 3 countries for ASEAN is very important to build the grouping's as a prosperous region.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the summit was a special one because it was also to mark the 15th anniversary of ASEAN+3 Cooperation.

"I come here with sincere desire to increase mutual trust and enhance cooperation with all partners and I am looking forward to joining with leaders to discuss future cooperation and development," he said.

Wen said over the past 15 years, thanks to a concerted effort by ASEAN and the Plus 3 countries, the cooperation has steadily grown and made remarkable achievements despite changes in regional and international landscapes.

"Together, we have tackled a few major crises successfully. One was during the 1997, the Asian financial storm," he said.

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