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Media Release

28 May 2009

Australia to Join the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Process

Australia will join the Asia-Europe Meeting at the next ASEM Summit to be held in Brussels in 2010.

The Asia Europe Meeting process (ASEM) brings together 16 Asian nations and the ASEAN Secretariat along with the 27 European Union nations and the European Commission.

Australia's application to join the Asia-Europe meeting process was welcomed by Asian and European Foreign Ministers at a meeting in Hanoi this week.

Once detailed arrangements have been effected to formalise Australia's membership, Australia will join ASEM at the 2010 ASEM Summit ("ASEM 8") to be held in Brussels.

Through its Leaders' summits, ASEM provides an important forum for leaders from the two regions to strengthen economic, political and strategic ties between Europe and Asia.

ASEM encourages effective regional and global approaches to international problems including the global economic crisis, climate change and realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.

The decision this week by ASEM Foreign Ministers is a collective recognition by the countries of ASEM of the strong contribution Australia can and will make to the process.

Our participation in the Asia Europe Meeting process reflects the Government's commitment to working regionally and multilaterally to address economic, political and security challenges.

It reflects the Government's commitment to the strongest possible relations with our Asian neighbours.

It reflects also our now strong and modern partnership with Europe.

Membership of ASEM complements our engagement in other regional groupings such as the East Asia Summit and APEC.


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