November 18, 2017
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European Union

EU wants more cooperation with ASEAN across all sectors

Manila, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- The president of the European Council on Tuesday called for more cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations across all sectors, including the fight against terrorism.

"Terrorist ideologies have spread across continents. We can mitigate this threat if we work together, sharing information on suspects and trends of concern," Donald Tusk said at the ASEAN-EU Summit in Manila.

Europe has suffered from multiple fatal terror attacks in the past two years, including in Nice, France, which left 85 people dead, Berlin on Dec. 19, 2016 which killed 12 people, and Barcelona on Aug. 17, 2017, which killed 13.

Southeast Asia has also been a target for terror groups, most notably in the city of Marawi in the Philippines, which militants partially controlled between May 23 and Oct. 23 of this year. The siege and recapture of the town by government troops caused more than 1,000 deaths in total.

ASEAN, which was founded in 1967, is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, countries which have a combined population of more than 620 million.

"The potential for greater engagement is enormous. From trade to climate, from maritime security to counter-terrorism, together we can make our two regions stronger," the Polish politician said.

"Like the EU, ASEAN is vital for stability in a challenging regional context and a time of geopolitical volatility," Tusk added.

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