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Russia's Lavrov invites ASEAN officials to Moscow

17:52 01/08/2007
MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian foreign minister invited Wednesday senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to visit Moscow August 13 to discuss regional and international issues.

Sergei Lavrov is currently on a four-day visit to the Philippine capital, Manila, for international talks focused on Southeast Asian nations, and bilateral talks with the host country.

"We are ready to receive ASEAN senior officials in Moscow on August 13 to exchange ideas on regional and international issues," Lavrov told a Russia-ASEAN post-ministerial conference in Manila.

Lavrov said the first six joint priority projects had already been specified, including plans to establish an ASEAN Center at a Russian university.

"Such an approach suits Russia's policy for broader participation in integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region, and obviously complies with the strategic plans of our partners in ASEAN concerning the further institutionalization of the Association to take it to a higher level of integration," the foreign minister said.

The diplomat also reiterated the country's interest in promoting partnership between Russia and ASEAN, especially in the economic sphere.

Russia, while not a member of ASEAN, a political and economic grouping of 10 countries in the region, takes part in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), an informal multilateral dialogue grouping, at ministerial level.

ASEAN was founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Later Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia joined the organization.

The current participants of the ARF are the ASEAN members plus Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, the European Union, India, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, East Timor, and the United States.

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RIA NovostiRussia's Lavrov invites ASEAN officials to Moscow

17:52 01/08/2007 The Russian foreign minister invited Wednesday senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to visit Moscow August 13 to discuss regional and international issues. >>

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