y Yuni Arisandy
Jakarta, Jan 10 (ANTARA News) - The United Kingdom will open its mission to ASEAN in Jakarta in 2019, according to UK Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald.
McDonald, who is also the Head of British Diplomatic Service, met with Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for Political and Security Affairs, Hoang Anh Tuan, and Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for Economic Affairs, Aladdin de Rillo, at the ASEAN Secretariat office here on Thursday.
McDonald stated that the UK mission to ASEAN would open during this year after the British government appointed a British ambassador to ASEAN. He further noted that the UK mission office for ASEAN would be located close to the British Embassy for Indonesia.
"In 2019, the mission will be co-located with the British Embassy to Indonesia, so that the infrastructure is already in place, but as soon as the appointment (of British Ambassador to ASEAN) is made, we will make an announcement," he stated.
Currently, the British Ambassador to Indonesia, Moazzam Malik, is also the British ambassador to ASEAN.
"At the moment, our ambassador to Indonesia serves also as our ambassador to ASEAN, but now we think this is a big enough job to have a dedicated ambassador to ASEAN. So the ASEAN deputy secretary generals welcomed this appointment, and this was a good basis for a good discussion about the development of the UK`s relationship with ASEAN," he remarked.
McDonald further revealed that one of the key ambitions of the UK outside the European Union is to maintain its foreign relations by being open to the whole world.
"Our focus in the last 45 years has been very much on Europe. In the future, we are not abandoning Europe, but we are stressing our openness to the whole world, including ASEAN countries," he stressed.
McDonald visited the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta accompanied by 10 British ambassadors for ASEAN member countries.