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East Asia Summit Concludes

15 December 2005

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

East Asia Summit Concludes

New Zealand was pleased to have taken part in the inaugural East Asia Summit on an equal footing with its regional neighbours, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

The summit, which concluded in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, was attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Leaders from the 10 Association of Southeast Asia Nation (ASEAN) countries, ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) and Australia, New Zealand and India.

Winston Peters attended a pre-summit Foreign Ministers meeting to lay the groundwork for the leaders’ meeting. A key focus of the meeting was to finalise the East Asia Summit Declaration, signed by leaders yesterday.

Mr Peters said the summit had been successful and would continue through future meetings to contribute to developing an East Asia community.

“It was also pleasing to see adoption by Leaders of the East Asia Summit Declaration on Avian Influenza Prevention Control and Response. The Declaration encourages cooperative methods to combat avian flu,” he said.

During the Summit the Prime Minister announced a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s ties with Asia, including provision of a $400,000 grant to the Department of Animal Health in Viet Nam to purchase lab and protective equipment for use in Viet Nam’s fight against bird flu.

While in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Peters also held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines and Laos.

ENDS

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