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ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting Ends, Calling for Enhanced Multinationalism

The Sixth ASEM (Asia-Europe) Foreign Ministers' meeting ended in Kildare, Ireland Sunday with a Chairman's statement calling for an enhanced international order based on improved multinationalism to deal effectively with threats and challenges.  

In the statement under the theme of "How can we sustain an international order based on effective multilateralism", the ministers said they had exchanged views on various kinds of issues including terrorism, conflict prevention, the role of the United Nations, Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East peace process and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


The ministers agreed that the role of the United Nations should be strengthened in solving different challenges in the world and expressed their support for an enhanced role of the UN in this field, the statement said.


On the issue of anti-terrorism, the ministers said "terrorism in all its forms remains a serious threat to global stability" and they "unanimously condemned the recent bombings and loss of life in Madrid" and recent terrorist attacks elsewhere.


They noted that terrorism would only be defeated by solidarity and collective actions and pledged "to do everything within their means and capacity to combat terrorism in all its forms."


All actions against terrorism must be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the obligations set out under the UN security council resolutions, the statement said.


As to regional cooperation, the ministers agreed that the cooperation should be intensified, particularly in the fields as reducing the access of terrorists to financial and other economic resources, protecting the security of international transport.


On the issue of Korean Peninsula, the ministers welcomed the positive outcome of the second round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing, China last month and supported the efforts of all the Parties to hold the third round of the talks by the end of June.


Iraq was another issue taken by the ministers. The ministers "expressed deep concern at the human suffering" in Iraq as violence was hindering the orderly transfer of sovereignty to inclusive Iraqi institutions.


They said they support the earliest possible return of sovereignty to the Iraq people.


The foreign ministers also underlined the importance of the political process for the restoration of the sovereignty in Iraq and emphasized the importance of international cooperation to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq.


The Sixth ASEM foreign ministers meeting, held here in this golf resort about 40 kilometers west of Ireland's capital of Dublin from Saturday to Sunday, was attended by 25 member states ministers and EU commissioner for External Relations Christopher Patten.


(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2004)

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