Most EAS Members Support Asean Centrality in Indo-Pacific Concept: FM

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi meet in Jakarta on Saturday (04/08). (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A)

By : Sheany and Telly Nathalia | on 1:40 PM August 05, 2018
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Saturday (04/08) said most member countries of the East Asia Summit, or EAS, including the United States, supported an Indo-Pacific cooperation concept focused on the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in line with Indonesia's vision for the regional architecture.

"Most of the 18 countries of EAS expressed their support toward Asean's centrality," Retno told reporters in Jakarta.

A document explaining Indonesia's vision of the concept was distributed at the Asean Ministerial Meeting in Singapore last week.

According to Retno, the vision remains open for input, but she stressed that it must be inclusive, based on cooperation and a habit of dialogue, and should strictly respect international law.

"This concept intends to promote a new outlook for cooperation, in order to create an enabling environment to address new security threats and promote prosperity through stronger economic cooperation," she said.

The minister said Asean officials will meet in Jakarta on Sept. 6 to discuss further the details of the concept.

"We still have time, hopefully in November it will be more concrete," she told reporters in Singapore.

Retno said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also expressed the US' support toward the idea of Asean's centrality during their meeting in Jakarta on Saturday evening.

The US is also committed to advance regional security in the Indo-Pacific region with a nearly $300 million investment.

"This new security assistance will advance our shared priorities: strengthening maritime security, and develop humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping abilities and enhance programs to counter transnational threats," Pompeo said during a press conference on the sidelines of the Asean meeting.

Pompeo also touched on the importance of fair and reciprocal economic partnerships in the region, which he called a "vital part of the world that continues to grow in importance."

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