Saturday, December 10, 2005

News - Bangkok Post Sunday 11 December 2005 - 16 nations vow to combat avian flu

The leaders of 16 countries in Asia and the Pacific are expected to issue a statement to express their concerns and pledge cooperation in the fight to combat avian flu, a senior official from the Asean secretariat said. The leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) grouping will join those from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand at an inaugural East Asia Summit (EAS) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to discuss issues of mutual concern. Their concerns over the spread of avian flu and pledge to cooperate in the battle to combat it are expected to be expressed in a statement, which will be issued separately from a joint end of summit declaration, the source said.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the 16 leaders would set the tone to the direction of the EAS. Australia believes the meeting will make a solid contribution to regional security and economic prosperity, he said.

A major focus for Canberra would be capacity building in education and technological development in Asia and the Pacific. Australia would fund a A$5 million (155 million baht) joint research project to help Asean countries develop closer economic links with other nations in East Asia.

Bangkok Post Sunday 11 December 2005 - 16 nations vow to combat avian flu

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