Foreign Minister concludes ASEAN meetings

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters wrapped up a visit to Singapore last night where he led New Zealand’s participation in a series of important regional and bilateral meetings.

Mr Peters attended the East Asia Summit Ministers’ Meeting; the ASEAN Regional Forum; and the Southwest Pacific Dialogue.  Mr Peters also co‑Chaired (with Indonesia) a meeting with Ministerial counterparts from the ASEAN countries.

“These meetings were an opportunity for all countries in the region to discuss the big issues confronting the Asia‑Pacific region, including North Korea, recent developments in the South China Sea, developments in Myanmar, and the importance of ensuring that trade disputes are managed in accordance with existing international rules,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters also had an extensive programme of bilateral meetings, including with the US Secretary of State, and the Foreign Ministers of Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, Timor‑Leste, Cambodia, Iran, the Philippines, and Turkey.

“I had an excellent discussion with Secretary of State Pompeo covering a wide range of issues including recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, and issues of mutual interest in the bilateral relationship.

“I had wide ranging discussions with my Singaporean counterpart, and reviewed the strong progress officials were making on the negotiation for an Enhanced Partnership.

“I was also pleased to meet with my North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, and to have a useful exchange of views on recent developments on the Korean Penninsula and future prospects”, Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters returns to New Zealand today.