JAKARTA, 1 October 2013–Australia’s first resident Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Simon Merrifield, yesterday presented his Letter of Credence to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh, at the ASEAN Secretariat.
Secretary-General Minh welcomed the accreditation of Ambassador Merrifield and expressed appreciation to Australia for its steadfast assistance to ASEAN Community building efforts, especially in the fields of education, connectivity, disaster management, combating trafficking in persons and counter-terrorism. He also stressed the importance of finalising the new ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action for the period 2014-2018, adding that good preparations must be made to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations in 2014.
Ambassador Merrifield expressed his great honour to be the first resident Ambassador of Australia to ASEAN and emphasised the importance of strengthening ASEAN-Australia dialogue relations. He stated that Australia will initiate a number of commemorative activities to celebrate the Anniversary, which will include among others, the official visits to Australia by the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) in 2014.