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Cambodian PM urges ARF FMs to work closely

PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday urged ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) foreign ministers to work closely to deal with challenges in economy, security, natural disasters and climate change in order to build peace and stability for the region and the world at large.

The premier made the remarks during a meeting with foreign ministers and representatives from 27 countries and Secretary- General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan at the Peace Palace, Eang Sophallet, spokesman for Prime Minister Hun Sen, told reporters after the one-hour meeting. The ARF, established in 1994, is a key forum for security dialogues in Asia.

The foreign ministers were led by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

They are all gathering here to attend the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Post Ministerial Conference, the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum, and the 2nd East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ meeting, which run from Monday through Friday.

Hun Sen said that their participation in these significant events reflected solidarity and close cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.

The premier said as ASEAN has been closely working toward a community in 2015, the assistance from ASEAN’s development partners is very important to help the bloc in integration work.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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