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Russia to strengthen Asian ties

Russia will enhance consultation and further cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, a senior Russian diplomat said.

“Interaction between Russia and ASEAN in various spheres was in the center of attention of consultations at the deputy foreign ministers level of the ASEAN member-countries in Moscow,” the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukovas saying.

The parties hailed Russian-ASEAN interaction, confirmed their intent to deepen and develop multifaceted cooperation as a key factor in the setting up of the joint structure of the world, security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, said Losyukov, who is heading the Russian delegation in the 5th meeting on the development of Russia-ASEAN cooperation.

The participants in the meeting also discussed regional and global affairs, including the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, the Middle East situation, ASEAN reform, ASEAN's dialogue mechanism and its interaction with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said.

The next meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers will be held in the Philippines in 2009.

Russia, backed by a surging economy fueled by petro-dollars, is striving to develop ties with ASEAN nations and explore markets there. (Xinhua)