Prince Mohamed leaves for Asean-EU meeting
By Azrol Azm

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, yesterday left for Nuremberg, Federal Republic of Germany, where His Royal Highness will attend the 16th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting.

Present to bid farewell to Their Royal Highnesses were Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as other senior officials.

According EU 2007 press release, the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union will host the 16th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the European Union (EU) in Nuremberg commencing March 14, 2007.

Some 40 Ministerial delegations from the EU Member States and the 10 Asean countries will be travelling to Germany for this event, which will be co-chaired by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeiar and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong. Javier Solana, the High Representatives for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and a number of EU Commissioners will also be in attendance.

The Asean-EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting takes place every two years.

The last meeting was held in Jakarta in March 2005. Cooperation between the EU and Asean in the political, security policy and economic fields has constantly grown over the past years.

Asean itself is pursuing an ambitious integration process and is increasingly becoming a motor for confidence-building in the region and an internationally sought-after partner.

The aim of the Nuremberg Meeting is, on this foundation, to work together for security and stability in Asia. A recent example of such cooperation was the successful joint Monitoring Mission in the conflict-torn province of Aceh, Indonesia.

This year's Meeting has additional significance, as the partners will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their relations.

Asean was founded in 1967 and now groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. (10th March 2007)