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6th East Asia Summit concludes, eyeing further regional integration

BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The East Asia Summit (EAS) concluded with the adoption of two key documents here on Saturday.

The Declaration of the EAS on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations and the Declaration of the 6th EAS on ASEAN Connectivity were adopted as the outcome documents of the 6th EAS.

The summit was attended by leaders from 10 ASEAN member countries, the Dialogue Partners and the Secretary General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were represented by their respective foreign ministers.

The first declaration contains basic norms and common principles taken from various previous basic documents including the UN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and other arrangements among EAS participating countries.

It will serve as the guidance of conduct for EAS participating countries towards promoting and maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The second declaration includes connectivity as one of the key areas of cooperation of the East Asia Summit besides the existing five priorities, namely finance, energy, education, communicable diseases and disaster management.

This declaration will inter alia support and facilitate further cooperation between the ASEAN and other EAS participating countries in the Connectivity initiative, and a regional public- private partnership development agenda and will promote greater engagement and cooperation in people-to-people connectivity.

At the closing ceremony, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he felt very happy and grateful for all the achievements made through the Summits and Indonesia's chairmanship this year.

"Through the many meetings of the ASEAN Summit in Bali, we have achieved many significant achievements. We have a roadmap for the ASEAN Community through the Bali Concord III. We have, for the first time, the participation of Russia and the United States," he said, adding "past achievements must become a strong foundation so that we may progress even further."

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered a short speech at the event after the announcement of the pass-on of the ASEAN chairmanship to Cambodia.

"Cambodia is very honored and pleased to take the chairmanship and host the 20th and 21st ASEAN Summit in 2012," he said.

Hun Sen listed a number of Cambodia's priorities as the chair of the ASEAN Summits in 2012, including:

-- intensifying efforts aimed at building a rule-based, people- oriented and fully integrated ASEAN Community;

-- ensuring concrete achievements of milestones as prescribed in Roadmap for an ASEAN Community for 2009-2015;

-- ensuring progress in the implementation of Initiative for the ASEAN Integration Work Plan II;

-- enhancing cooperation and strengthening partnership with Dialogue Partners and all regional groupings.

The ASEAN countries declared at its 9th Summit in October, 2003 its intention to create an ASEAN Community based upon three pillars by 2020 -- the ASEAN Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, which was later speeded up to 2015.

The ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

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