After a close consultation of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at their Informal Meeting in Karambunai, Malaysia, H.E. Hor Namhong, Senior Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Chairman of the ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) issued the following statement:

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers had extensive discussion and a useful exchange of views on the impending war in Iraq.

The Foreign Ministers discussed the repercussions of the imminent war in Iraq on the region and the world. They shared the view that the war will inevitably lead to the loss of lives of innocent people and increase tensions in the region with serious political and economic ramifications on the whole world, as well as the possible rise of international terrorism.

The Foreign Ministers believed that the United Nations still has an important role to play even after the armed conflict had started. In this regard, the Foreign Ministers expressed the hope that the U.N. should continue to actively engage in the current crisis in Iraq.

The Foreign Ministers shared the view that ASEAN should play a role in providing humanitarian assistance to Iraq, especially after the war, in order to help prevent a humanitarian disaster.

The Foreign Ministers agreed that the ASEAN Economic Ministers should discuss the negative economic implications of the war in Iraq and identify appropriate measures in addressing the economic difficulties facing ASEAN.

The Ministers further expressed the need for ASEAN to assist one another in overcoming any negative economic impact of the war, especially the energy security.