JAKARTA, 1 April 2016 —Bulgaria has expressed its strong interest to deepen its relations with ASEAN through the ASEAN-EU framework and also bilaterally with the Member States. Its Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Daniel Mitov, who called on Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday, stressed Bulgaria’s desire to further deepen ASEAN-EU dialogue relations.

Welcoming Bulgaria’s interest, Secretary-General Minh highlighted that the EU, of which Bulgaria is a member, is an important Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. He also emphasised the importance for ASEAN and the EU to deepen their cooperation. This, the Secretary-General said, is in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 – an ambitious and forward-looking roadmap for the next ten years where ASEAN is committed to further deepen and broaden relations with Dialogue Partners and strengthen engagement with other external partners.

In their exchange, both sides noted the strong trade and investment ties between ASEAN and the EU and the progress of cooperation, notably in air transport, which would boost economic cooperation between the two regions, and agreed to intensify efforts towards elevating the ASEAN-EU partnership to a strategic level.

Both sides also looked forward to the convening of the 21st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Thailand later this year as a good opportunity to continue to exchange views on this matter. Minister Mitov also mentioned Bulgaria’s active participation and contribution to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) framework.

Foreign Minister Mitov’s visit to the ASEAN Secretariat was part of his bilateral visit to Indonesia.