JAKARTA, 9 February 2017— Acknowledging ASEAN as an important regional organisation that plays a key role in the region and beyond, France  reiterated its strong interest in pursuing deeper ties with ASEAN. The new Ambassador of France to ASEAN, Jean-Charles Berthonnet, conveyed this message after presenting his letter of credence to Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh yesterday.

Secretary-General Minh congratulated Ambassador Berthonnet for assuming his new post and looked forward to working closely with him in strengthening the relations. He further expressed appreciation to the Government of the French Republic for its desire to strengthen relations with ASEAN and ASEAN Member States as well as under the framework of the ASEAN-EU relations. He recalled the gesture expressed by France toward the promotion of peace and stability in the region as reflected in country’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2007 and France’s support for the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

Recognising the potentials on both sides and the promising prospects of the region, Ambassador Berthonnet expressed France’s keen interest in exploring further cooperation in the fields that it has expertise and comparative advantage. Such fields include education, achieving sustainable development goals, climate change, connectivity, and public-private-partnership modalities in infrastructure development among others.