As the Sectoral Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Turkey's engagement with the organization has recently increased and its attention has been welcomed by member countries. The current ties between the two sides have been praised by the ASEAN Ankara Committee Chair (AAC) Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit, who added that there is still room for improvement.
"Despite already close ties and cooperation, there is still more room for improvement, as there always is, and the AAC looks forward to working with our Turkish counterparts as well as our network in the private sector, the academic sector as well as the media to further enhance and strengthen the relations between Turkey and ASEAN," Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand said in the capacity of the AAC yesterday during the ASEAN Flag Hoisting Ceremony held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Indonesia.
Attending the event, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's Director General of the Department of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Namık Güner Erpul, underlined that Turkey became a sectoral dialogue partner last year and he added that both sides will benefit from this "win-win situation."
He underlined that the relations with the ASEAN members are enhancing as Turkey has opened embassies and is being represented in all ASEAN capitals.
Turkey attended the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by Singapore as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner for the first time on August 1-4. The first ASEAN-Turkey Trilateral Ministers' Meeting was also held.
"ASEAN's strength comes from our diversity, but I believe the strength of the relationship between ASEAN and Turkey lies in the complementarities, and as our people learn more and more about each other, we will go from strength to strength to raise the relationship onto a new plateau," Ekarohit highlighted.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ankara's "ultimate objective" for developing its relations with ASEAN is to achieve dialogue partnership. A sectoral dialogue partnership with ASEAN could potentially help Turkey reach its trade figure goals within the framework of the country's 2023 vision.
Though it is impossible for countries located outside of Southeast Asia to become full members of ASEAN, Turkey aims to set up a dialogue partnership, the highest institutional status of ties with the association for nonmembers. In addition to Turkey, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Mongolia have also applied to become dialogue partners with ASEAN.
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