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posted on 24/04/2005: 5956 views

Jakarta - The UAE yesterday signed the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) alongside other 106 Asian and African countries who have been meeting here to reinvigorate the spirit of Bandung Declaration, signed by the two continents 50 years ago.

The new document which was issued at the end of the two-day meetings, was signed on behalf of President H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan by UAE Foreign Minister Rashid Abdullah.

"We reiterate our conviction that the Spirit of Bandung, the core principles of which are solidarity, friendship and cooperation, continues to be a solid, relevant and effective foundation for fostering be better relations among Asian and African countries and resolving global issues of common concern. The 1955 Bandung Conference remains as a beacon in guiding future progress of Asia and Africa.” said the document.

Addressing the summit, the UAE Foreign Minister underlined the importance of the role played by Asia and African countries in the global arena, particularly with regard to defending the principles of the Bandung Summit of 1955.

He pointed out that the immediate task of the Asian and African countries is to address and redress pressing issues such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, debts and conflicts. He said outstanding disputes between nations would continue to thwart the spirit of Bandung if they are not addressed. A case in point, he said, is the current dispute over the occupied UAE islands of Abu Musa, Lesser and Greater Tunbs.

Abdullah also conveyed the greetings of Sheikh Khalifa to the African and Asian leader participating at the summit. In the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the Asian and African leaders emphasized the importance of multilateral approaches to international relations and the need for countries to strictly abide by the principles of international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations.

As Asia and Africa represent the majority in the community of nations, we reaffirm the need to support and strengthen multilateralism in order to address global issues, including reforming multilateral institutions, they said.

The communiqué said that the newly formed NAASP shall address issues of common concern such as, armed conflict, weapons of mass destruction, transnational organized crimes and terrorism which , they said, are fundamental to ensuring peace, stability, and security.

"We are determined to prevent conflict and resolve disputes by peaceful means and endeavour to explore innovative mechanisms for confidence building and dispute resolution as well as for post conflict peace building” the communiqué said. The leaders further noted that NAASP shall promote human resource development , enhance capacity building and technical cooperation in order to create an enabling environment for the betterment of the regions. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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