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EU-ASEAN SUMMIT (Brunei) – Terzi: Italy proposes mention of cooperation on piracy in conclusions

In the final conclusions of the EU-ASEAN Summit under way in Brunei, Italy has successfully promoted, “here as it did at the G8, the insertion of references in two separate parts of the text, to cooperation between the EU and ASEAN against piracy, not only in generic terms but with explicit mention of the international legislation that must regulate that collaboration”. The announcement came from Minister Giulio Terzi speaking to the Italian press in the margins of the meeting, in anticipation of the document to be approved in the afternoon.

Practical cooperation in counter-piracy

In a series of bilateral meetings with other foreign ministers from Southeast Asia, including that of Malaysia, Terzi raised the issue of the two Italian marines detained in India. “Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore”, he explained, “are very acutely aware of this situation, having been afflicted by piracy for many years, and are now able to combat it by cooperating with each other. I found my Malaysian colleague very receptive”.

Action plan

A 5-year, renewable action plan (2013-2017) is to be approved at the EU-ASIAN summit that concerns political, security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation and “provides for the creation of operations coordination centres for counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and civil emergencies”, Terzi announced, underscoring that this will be “a broad range of means to bring these two large-scale regional groups – the EU and ASEAN – increasingly close together and more coordinated”.

EU is ASEAN’s second largest partner

The minister pointed out that “at $75 billion, the EU is ASEAN’s second largest trade partner after China, and Italy’s good-sized share of that is approximately $10 billion”. The minister, who is concluding a Southeast Asian tour that has brought him also to Indonesia and Myanmar, pointed out how “I was able also today to convey to the ASEAN members Italy’s involvement in that region. We were also made aware of the keen interest of the Brunei sovereign fund, which already has noteworthy investments in Europe, especially in tourism, in investigating the Italian market”.