During his speech at the occasion which took place at the Embassy of Malaysia, Malaysian Ambassador to Ukraine Dato' Reza Raja Zaib Shah hailed the many tremendous achievements recorded by ASEAN, emphasising that the bloc is playing an increasingly important role in the economic and socio-political life of the region, and that of the wider world.
Despite being locked in a fierce battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic, ASEAN was still able to successfully conduct an array of activities during the first half of the year under the leadership of Vietnam in the role of ASEAN Chair in 2020, with notable examples being the first online ASEAN Summit, ASEAN+3, and other important meetings. He expressed his full confidence that the country will be able to successfully fulfill its role as Chair of the bloc during the remaining months of the year.
With regard to relations between ASEAN and Ukraine, Malaysian Ambassador Shah spoke glowingly about the initiative to set up an ASEAN Committee in Ukraine in order to serve as an effective channel for dialogue and co-operation between the two sides.
In a pre-recorded speech sent to the ceremony, Ukraine Foreign Minister D. Kuleba congratulated ASEAN members on the recent anniversary, as well as expressing his hope that Vietnam in its capacity of ASEAN Chair in 2020 will be able to take the Ukraine-ASEAN relationship to new heights.
The Ukrainian FM affirmed that the Eastern European country has interests in Southeast Asia, explaining that the Asia-Pacific region, including ASEAN, is a priority in terms of Ukraine’s external policies moving forward.
Furthermore, the idea of establishing an ASEAN Centre at a major university in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to popularise information about the regional grouping was suggested by FM Kuleba. In addition, proposals were repeated on Ukraine becoming an observer of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and joining the Treaty on Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
To mark the occasion, Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Anh Tuan gave an interview to the radio and TV channel of the Ukrainian parliament. During the interview, the local diplomat attributed Vietnamese success to the country’s aspirations for peace and the clear-sighted leadership implemented by the Party and Government through the creative application of Ho Chi Minh Thought.
Ambassador Tuan added that the nation’s admission to ASEAN in 1995 and its positive contributions to the organisation serve as vivid examples of the sound leadership displayed by both the Party and Government of Vietnam.