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Asia, Europe highlight multilateralism in tackling COVID-19

(Xinhua)    09:01, September 08, 2020

BRUSSELS, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The 53 partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) have pledged to work together to decisively and effectively control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement released by the European External Action Service (EEAS) on Monday.

"Rather than turning inward, we recognise that combating the COVID-19 pandemic will require concerted international cooperation, effective actions by multilateral organizations, and support for multilateralism by ASEM partners, based on UN principles and values," said the statement from the website of the diplomatic service of the European Union (EU).

The statement was jointly issued by foreign ministers of Cambodia as host nation of the 13th ASEM Summit, the EU, Germany, Singapore and Russia as regional coordinators, on behalf of the ASEM members.

Reaffirming sharing experiences and information in a free, responsible, transparent and timely manner, the partners agreed to support UN's call for shared responsibility, global solidarity and strengthened multilateral cooperation in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

An EU spokesperson quoted the statement in her tweet: "We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen multilateralism for socio-economic resilience. The virus will not weaken our resolve to stand together in solidarity during this difficult time."

She also stressed the partners' commitment "to continue working together to accelerate post-COVID-19 sustainable socio-economic recovery, and minimise the potential of global economic recession."

The 13th ASEM Summit, originally scheduled for Nov. 16-17 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has been postponed to mid-2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.

ASEM was created in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. It consists of the EU and its 27 member states, Norway and Switzerland, and 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Russia, Japan, Australia, etc.

Collectively, ASEM partners represent 65 percent of the global economy, 60 percent of the world's population, 55 percent of the world trade and 75 percent of the world tourism.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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