Following his talks with Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan of the Southeast Asian regional organization ASEAN, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin this afternoon (6 September):
EU-ASEAN cooperation has been growing for over 30 years. In 1978, ASEAN became the EU’s first partner in its interregional cooperation programme. It is the EU’s fifth-largest trading partner; Germany is the ASEAN member states’ biggest trading partner within the EU.
ASEAN has made a valuable contribution to peace and stability in the region, recently providing sensitive mediation in the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.