New Zealand joins EU-Asia forum

16:24, August 23, 2010      

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New Zealand has become a new member of an influential grouping, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the first forum that connects New Zealand closely to the European Union.

It will add another engagement to the busy summit diary of the New Zealand prime minister, the New Zealand Herald reported on Monday. These include APEC, the East Asia Summit, the Pacific Islands Forum, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The ASEM, as it is called, comprises the 27 countries in the European Union and 16 Asian countries. All countries of the East Asia Summit, which is becoming an increasingly important forum for New Zealand, are members of ASEM.

New Zealand, Australia and Russia have been approved in a new membership grouping of ASEM that comes neither from Europe nor from Asia. It meets every two years, and on alternate years to the Commonwealth summit. Its next meeting is in Brussels next month, the eighth since it began in 1996.

Prime Minister John Key has not even announced the fact that New Zealand's application to join was accepted, let alone whether he will attend the first meeting.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said he was likely to attend whether or not Key did.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李牧(实习))

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