VnnNews – President Barak Obama and President Nguyen Minh Triet co-chaired the second ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting in New York on September 24, which was attended by ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan and leaders of ASEAN member states.

The meeting issued a declaration proposing measures to strengthen multifaceted cooperation between ASEAN and the US.

During the meeting, the leaders reviewed the positive progress in ASEAN-US ties, especially since the first ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting in Singapore in November 2009. They proposed orientations and measures for boosting bilateral partnership in the future. Both sides valued the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation, as seen in the creation of structures in the region.

Pham Quang Vinh, head of the ASEAN Vietnam Senior Officials Meeting group, said that the two sides agreed on promoting comprehensive ASEAN-US cooperation based on mutual respect and benefit and many leaders pledged to raise these ties to a new level.

The leaders of the US and the regional bloc agreed to hold a third summit on the occasion of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2011 and decided to set up a group of famous figures to propose ideas for boosting bilateral ties.

Both sides will continue to implement the plan to strengthen the partnership between ASEAN and the US from now until 2015.

They also stressed the need for closer cooperation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, promote trade and investment cooperation, use energy effectively, and ensure food security, education, culture, technology, and health care. Environmental and biodiversity protection, as well as natural disasters and climate change were also discussed along with combating terrorism and trans-national crime such as trafficking humans, weapons and drugs.

US President Obama asserted that his country wants to strengthen comprehensive ties with ASEAN and supports the central role of the bloc in the region as well as in regional cooperative forums. He said the US pledges to help ASEAN build its community, promote its connectivity and narrow development gaps.

The ASEAN leaders hailed the US policy to step up cooperation with the region and welcomed the US and Russia’s memberships in the East Asia Summit as from 2011, which will be decided by the 17th ASEAN Summit in October 2010.

The US and Russian foreign ministers will attend the fifth East Asia Meeting in Hanoi this October.

ASEAN also highly values the US declaration to advise ASEAN on the protocol for the treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and welcomes the US support for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

* On September 24 State Nguyen Minh Triet had a working session with ASEAN leaders and the US-ASEAN Business Council. Addressing the event, Mr Triet spoke highly of the American groups’ intention to boost investment in ASEAN, which he said has stability, high economic growth and great potential.

In his speech US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campball reiterated the US policy to expand its ties with ASEAN.

Bilateral trade between ASEAN and the US has reached more than US$200 billion and ASEAN is now the US’s fifth largest trade partner and fourth largest export market. –VietNamNet/VOV, September 25, 2010