Security to top EU-ASEAN meeting agenda

14th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 March 2007, Nuremberg (dpa)- Security issues are to top the agenda when the foreign ministers of the European Union and the Association of South East Asian Nations meet in the southern German city of Nuremberg Wednesday. The meeting takes place during the German presidency of the EU and is being chaired by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong. The two blocs - the EU comprises 27 member states and ASEAN 10 - also aim to progress further to a free trade

14 March 2007

Nuremberg (dpa)- Security issues are to top the agenda when the foreign ministers of the European Union and the Association of South East Asian Nations meet in the southern German city of Nuremberg Wednesday.

The meeting takes place during the German presidency of the EU and is being chaired by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong.

The two blocs - the EU comprises 27 member states and ASEAN 10 - also aim to progress further to a free trade agreement.

The EU is also moving towards joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, a loose ASEAN framework that already draws in other major powers in the region, including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Howwever, a stumbling block is that the treaty stipulates non- interference in the internal affairs of signatory states, while the EU has made clear its distaste for the longstanding military dictatorship on Myanmar, a member of ASEAN.

The EU in particular objects to the detention under house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi since 2003.

Nonetheless, it aims at the Nuremberg meeting, which marks 30 years of links between the two blocs, to decide on a strategy paper that provides for humanitarian aid for Myanmar, particularly for fighting diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS.

Security is set to dominate the two-day meeting, the 16th in a series of meetings that take place every two years.

Following on from a successful role as peacekeeper in Aceh, Indonesia, in 2005-06, the EU aims for a larger role in bringing change to both Myanmar and North Korea.

DPA

Subject: German news

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