E. Consulting on regional issues of global concern
33. Ministers stressed the need to maintain peace and stability in the region as well as the importance of the international non proliferation regime. They urged the DPRK to comply fully with the UNSC Resolutions and decisions and to refrain from actions which could exacerbate the situation and recalled that the DPRK cannot have the status of the nuclear weapon state in accordance with the NPT. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Six-Party Talks as the best means to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. They expressed concern about the 21 April 2010 memorandum issued by the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry on the nuclear issue. They also emphasized the importance of addressing the humanitarian concerns.
34. The Ministers reiterated their deep concern over the rising tension following the sinking of the Cheonan and recent publication of the findings of an investigation conducted by Republic of Korea in cooperation with a number of countries. They expressed condolences to the victims and their families. The Ministers called on all parties concerned to exercise restrain and to step up efforts to promote lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
35. The Ministers welcomed the start of proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians as a positive step forward and confirmed the urgency of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In line with the Middle East Quartet statement in Moscow on 19 March 2010 they called for urgent progress towards the two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Ministers support the United States’ efforts to ensure negotiations on all final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, security and water, respecting previous agreements and understandings. Ministers expressed concern about the situation on the ground, including in East Jerusalem. The Ministers urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, including natural growth, and to dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001. The Ministers remained gravely concerned about the situation in Gaza; they urged the full implementation of UNSCR 1860 and the full respect of international humanitarian law. They reiterated their call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. They recalled that a comprehensive peace must include a settlement between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon. The Ministers encouraged inter-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas and supported the mediation efforts of Egypt and the Arab League in this respect. The Ministers reiterated their appreciation of the Arab Peace Initiative which offers a framework for the achievement of a comprehensive peace in this region.
36. The Ministers noted with deep concern the situation regarding the Iranian nuclear programme and urged Iran to fulfil the obligations set out in UN Security Council Resolutions on this matter. They noted the importance of full and transparent cooperation by Iran with the IAEA. The Ministers expressed their support for a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and underlined the importance to take appropriate measures to that end in the context of the dual track approach.
37. The Ministers, noting its importance, expressed their support of promoting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and maintaining Afghanistan’s unity and territorial integrity, including successfully executing the forthcoming parliamentary elections and for continued improvement of the electoral process, governance, civilian capacity and human rights issues. They noted the need for a more regional approach by engaging Afghanistan’s neighbours and continued engagement of the international community to assist the Government and people of Afghanistan in regaining their livelihood, and the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their country under full Afghan ownership.
38. Ministers congratulated Pakistan on the adoption of the 18th Constitutional Amendment as a positive step towards strengthening parliamentary democracy. They expressed confidence that it would contribute towards good governance and human rights, electoral reform, sustainable development and countering extremism and terrorism.
F. Next ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting
39. Ministers agreed that the 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting will take place in Brunei Darussalam in 2012.