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ASEAN meeting - Minister's statement on arrival in Kuala Lumpur



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Date THE HON. ANDREW PEACOCK M.P.

25 June 1980

TEXT OF STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON HIS ARRIVAL IN KUALA LUMPUR

I am very happy to be back in Kuala Lumpur for the second time this year. That I should be meeting with my ASEAN colleagues for the fifth time in twelve months is clear evidence of the importance which Australia attaches to its relations with our ASEAN neighbours. It also underlines just how many shared

interests and mutual concerns we have.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers' annual meeting, and the round of discussions following it, has acquired the status of something more than just a regional meeting. It has become a gathering of wider international significance. This fact is a

tribute to the international standing of ASEAN and of its importance for regional growth and prosperity.

I look forward to seeing my ASEAN Ministerial colleagues again and to discussing with them international developments which directly affect the part of the world in which we live. I also look forward to reviewing with them the undoubted progress made over the last year in the growth of relations between ASEAN

and Australia.

I am glad to have the opportunity, in addition to my strictly ASEAN activities, to see some Malaysian friends. Malaysia is the contact point for Australia with ASEAN and is a fellow member of the Commonwealth. Our ties go back a long way. We have a larger number of students in Australia from Malaysia than from any other country. They are very welcome

and I see no likelihood of their numbers decreasing.

A close and mutually beneficial relationship with Malaysia and with all the countries of ASEAN remains a primary element of Australian foreign policy. I look forward to a strength ening of that relationship as a result of the discussions to be held during the next few days.