The Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Mr Le Luong Minh and Foreign Affairs Minister of the Argentina Republic H.E. Mr Hector Timerman exchanged views on major aspects of cooperation between ASEAN and Argentinaas well as within the context of ASEAN-MERCOSUR (Members of the Southern Common Market) cooperation,yesterday at the ASEAN Secretariat. The two leaders also discussed a variety of issues including developments in ASEAN, the needs of ASEAN, and future developments in ASEAN-Argentina relations.

Foreign Minister Timermantook the opportunity to congratulate Mr Minh for assuming the role as the new ASEAN Secretary-General for the period of 2013-2017. He underlined the strong commitment of the Government of Argentina to deepen its cooperation with ASEAN in the areasnamely,agriculture, peaceful use of nuclear energy, and transfer of technology. Assuming the role as Chair of MERCOSUR in 2014, Foreign Minister Timerman expressed his country’s readiness to enhance closer cooperation between ASEAN and MERCOSUR, as well as to convene the 2nd ASEAN-MERCOSUR Ministerial Meeting to finalize the draft Plan of Action that would further deepen and intensify the partnership and cooperation between ASEAN and MERCOSUR in a more comprehensive manner.

In response, H.E.Minh warmly welcomed Foreign Minister Timerman and his delegation to the ASEAN Secretariat. He expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm shown by Foreign Minister Timerman and advised Argentina to reach out and be present in the region in its areas of competence dealing with the priority sectors of ASEAN. Mr Minh also informed Foreign Minister Timerman that ASEAN Secretariat looks forward to enhance the relationship between ASEAN and Argentina as well as ASEAN and MERCOSUR.