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Gcc And Asean Joint Statement
News From : DagangHalal.com (7/1/2009)

Manama, June 30 (BNA) Foreign ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) welcomed today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the secretariats of both the GCC and ASEAN.

On this occasion the foreign Ministers affirmed the desire to seek additional areas for cooperation and assigned to the two secretariats to develop a plan of action within two years in order to ensure effective cooperation and make concrete results.

The plan is to be then submitted during the second joint ministerial meeting to be reviewed.

The ministers adopted a common vision for the development of relations between them to achieve the benefits and common interests of the two regions.

In a statement issued at the end of the first joint meeting between the GCC and ASEAN, which was held earlier today in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the ministers agreed to hold the next joint meeting in 2010 in one of the ASEAN countries to be followed by the subsequent ministerial meetings every two years and alternating between the GCC member countries and the ASEAN, in addition to holding an annual meeting at the level of the Troika on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The ministers also assigned the secretariats of both the GCC and ASEAN to study and prepare recommendations on the Free trade agreement between the two sides, economic cooperation and development, education, culture and media.
The Ministers mandated the secretariats of the two sides to prepare a perception of these topics and present it to the next meeting of the Troika.

The ministers agreed in order to strengthen the partnership between the two sides approval of the appointment of ambassadors of the GCC in Jakarta at the Secretariat of the ASEAN ambassadors and likewise be adopted in by the ASEAN in Riyadh.

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the two groups affirmed the importance of closer links between people at all levels and the importance of human development which contributes in narrowing the gap in the development and promotion of dialogue among civilizations and cultures, cooperation and linkages in the field of education through student exchange and academic as well as the dissemination of information among member states that have been reviewed in the meeting.

They also stressed the importance of strengthening communication between peoples, including the movement of citizens of the GCC and ASEAN, between the two regions, and within this context, the ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in the consular area.

The Foreign Ministers of the GCC and ASEAN at the end of their meeting indicated the importance of the fight against sea piracy, in accordance with international legitimacy.

They also agreed to pursue closer cooperation in the areas of trade and investment between the two, including an examination of the possibility of a framework for cooperation and trade agreement between the two sides.

In this regard, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and GCC stressed on the importance of encouraging the private sector in the regions and work together to promote a forum for business owners of the GCC and ASEAN countries.

They stressed the importance of food security and joint development of agricultural production and food supply, food standards, including a valuable production of Halal food through a wider investment in these areas and improve the infrastructure and logistics as well as the development of research.

The Ministers noted the importance of cooperation in the energy sector, including the exchange of information on energy and hydrocarbon joint development of alternative and renewable energy.

Within this context the ministers congratulated the United Arab Emirates on choosing Abu Dhabi as location of the secretariat of the Renewable International Atomic Energy "Arena".

With regard to the financial crisis and the current economic situation, the ministers voiced their concern on this crisis and its impact.

They stressed the importance of increased cooperation between international financial, economic and trade organisations.

The ministers welcomed the outcome of the G20 summit which was held in London, as well as the UN conference on global financial and economic crisis and its impact on development.

The ministers noted the importance of cooperation in the field of tourism, including the services sector, medical treatment and agreed to work together toward the development and promotion and marketing of the sector through the establishment of formal networks and to promote tourism and activities involving the private sector as well as the development of investment in this area among member countries in both regions.

The ministers exchanged views on their overall views on international issues of common concern in a spirit of cooperation between the countries of the South, including the Doha round of the World Trade Organization and the global financial situation, where they stressed the positive role played by the two sides aimed at promoting peace, stability, prosperity and regional integration and sustainable development and building societies in their respective regions.

They also discussed mechanisms to support and strengthen cooperation in many areas of common interest.

The ministers expressed their gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and to the government and people of Bahrain for their hospitality and excellent organization of the meeting.

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