Indonesia, Cuba discuss inter-regional cooperation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parilla discussed the possibility of cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) here on Friday.

"We discussed inter-regional cooperation. Cuba is currently CELAC chairman so we discussed cooperation between CELAC and ASEAN," Marty said following a meeting with Parilla at the former`s office.

Marty did not elaborate on the areas of cooperation the two regional groupings would pursue. But he added that Parilla would first meet with ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.

"This evening he will meet with the ASEAN secretary general," he said.

Regarding broader inter-regional cooperation under the framework of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) of which Indonesia and Cuba are members, Marty said Indonesia and Colombia will co-chair the 6th FEALAC ministerial meeting to be held in the resort island of Bali in June this year.

FEALAC was initiated by then prime minister Goh Chok Tong when he visited Chile in October 1998. Senior officials of the two regions held their first-ever meeting in Singapore in 1999. The Singapore meeting was a momentum for the official establishment of FEALAC.

FEALAC is a regional forum of 36 countries constituting the region of East Asia and Latin America that came together to form an official and regular dialogue channel between the two regions.

The forum is made up of 16 countries from East Asia (10 ASEAN member states plus Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and New Zealand) and 20 countries from Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Republic of Dominique, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela).

Reporting by Gilang Galiartha