Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Head of the ASEAN Studies Program at the Indonesia’s Habibie Centre Ahmad Ibrahim Almutaqqi said on January 20 that the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) Retreat held in the central city of Nha Trang from January 16-17 yielded impressive results, laying solid foundation for ASEAN Year 2020.

He said the retreat held significance because it was the first meeting to announce priorities of the ASEAN Chair and decide on common orientations for the bloc.

Almutaqqi spoke highly of initiatives mentioned in the Press Statement by the Chairman of the meeting, including those regarding Rohingya people in Myanmar.

According to him, the East Sea issue, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) are urgent issues to be faced by ASEAN this year.

On the East Sea issue, he highlighted the significance of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Press Statement, and hoped that a Code of Conduct in the East Sea will be much stronger than expected.

The scholar highly valued the priorities in realising the AOIP during the ASEAN 2020, adding that Vietnam’s wish to accelerate the signing of the RCEP as scheduled is worth encouraging, despite several issues in need of consideration, including concern from India./.