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NZ, ASEAN agree to relationship roadmap

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


27 July 2006
Media statement

NZ, ASEAN agree to relationship roadmap

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today that a roadmap guiding New Zealand's reIations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the next four years had been agreed during a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The plan has been under negotiation for two months and was approved at a meeting between Mr Peters and ASEAN foreign ministers led by the Philippines Foreign Minister, Alberto Romulo.

The Philippines is currently coordinating ASEAN's relations with New Zealand.

"This is the first time there has been a formal document setting out how we see our relations with ASEAN developing," Mr Peters said.

"Southeast Asia is of vital importance to our political, security and economic interests. This roadmap identifies specific areas for further cooperation between New Zealand and ASEAN countries, such as counter- terrorism, disaster management and human resource development.

"It also highlights some of the things we are already doing through our aid programme, the ‘Seriously Asia' programme, and through the Asia:New Zealand Foundation.

"We are particularly pleased that the plan notes the importance of bringing current negotiations on an ASEAN-NZ/Australia Free Trade Agreement to a successful conclusion," Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters is in Kuala Lumpur to attend a series of ASEAN meetings, including the annual ASEAN Regional Forum, the only region-wide ministerial meeting dedicated to government-to-government engagement on security issues.

ENDS

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