Asia-Europe Meeting: new forum for rapprochement

Source: Voice of Russia, The (Russian Federation)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 05 Oct 2010

This year Russia Australia and New Zealand officially joined the Asia-Europe Meeting members.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov represented the country at the Brussels forum  where he called for the creation of a single anti-terrorist and anti-drug area in Europe by joint efforts.

The Russian Foreign Minister arrived in Brussels with specific proposals on security, energy cooperation and environmental protection. Sergey Lavrov believes the Meeting can bring the participants' energy strategies closer and promote Europe's biggest investment programs. The Asia-Europe countries have two thirds in the world trade and the biggest part of the world's GDP.

Traditionally, the summit is highly confidential, attended by national delegations and interpreters only. This provides for a frank dialogue on burning issues, such as overcoming the global financial crisis, climate change, and building up security architecture. Moscow has repeatedly urged to reform the current security system, our correspondent Elizaveta Isakova reports from Brussels:

"The first decade of the XXI century proved the system's inefficiency and now it's time to unite efforts and set up a new architecture providing for overall security. The Asia-Europe meeting is the forum for it."

Sergey Lavrov once again raised the issue of naval piracy as the lack of legislation in this respect makes pirates feel free. The diplomat also noted the urgency of  anti-drug effirts.

The summit is also a forum for rapprochement between Europe and Asia, believes political analyst Boris Makarenko

"The Meeting is a dialogue of civilizations, where Europe is represented by the EU and Russia and Asia by Southeast Asia , China and Japan. Asia is a new power and it's good that Russia is involved in the forum representing both Asian super tigers and Europe. Thus, we are getting closer to the EU and expanding our presence  in East Asia which need expansion."

 However, the Asia-Europe Meeting unlike NATO, EU, or SCO doesn't have institutional mechanisms to implement specific programs, but they may be developed soon.

-By Yelizaveta Isakova, Ilya Kharlamov from The Voice of Russia  http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/10/05/24231955.html