Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has stressed the need for the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) to enhance inclusive cooperation to address increasingly complex challenges.

"ASEAN and EU need to enhance inclusive collaboration," she said at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the EU here on Thursday.

ASEAN and the EU have cooperated for almost half a century and become strategic partners since 2020, she noted.

This partnership, according to her, is being tested amid growing challenges.

She conveyed two important aspects for overcoming the challenges, with the first being the need for maintaining inclusive regional architecture.

ASEAN has invested heavily in building inclusive regional architecture. She expressed the hope that the EU would share the same view on the inclusive collaboration paradigm.

"This is the only way to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity," she added.

The second important aspect is to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation, Marsudi said.

Both ASEAN and the EU have enormous potential, and both are each other's third-largest trading partner, she highlighted.

Both also have integrated economies with 450 million consumers in the EU and 650 million consumers in ASEAN.

This potential, Marsudi said, should not be hindered by trade barrier policies such as the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and the European Union Enforcement Regulation (EUER).

Therefore, both parties must find a joint solution through ASEAN-EU mechanisms, such as the Joint Working Group on Palm Oil.

In addition, ASEAN and the EU need to strengthen strategic partnership based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit, Marsudi stressed.

The ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting also underlined the importance of resolving the South China Sea issue, concerns over the situation in Ukraine, and the Korean Peninsula.

The meeting also encouraged the completion of the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.

Meanwhile, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Joseph Borell Fontelles, acknowledged ASEAN's role as a key global player in the current century, especially amid ongoing global crises.

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Translator: Katriana, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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