50th anniversary of ASEAN marked in Turkey

ANKARA

The 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was marked in Ankara on Tuesday.

Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz and Philippines Ambassador to Turkey Maria Rowena Mendoza Sanchez attended the ceremony held at the Indonesian Ambassador to Turkey Wardana's residence.

Yildiz said Turkey should work to improve its ties with Asian countries.

In my childhood conservative families in Turkey would educate their children not to forget their Asian ties, while in the meantime extend their ties to Europe -- exactly like the Ottoman Empire did.

He added that Turkey enjoyed good relations with ASEAN, and wanted to improve trade in the region.

In this regard, he said that Turkey had prepared a comprehensive plan and allocated funds, with the hope that both sides would use it to diversify trade and commerce.

Sanchez said ASEAN became the world's most successful group after it was established by its five founding members -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- in 1967 by signing a declaration in Bangkok, Thailand.

It declared the establishment of a regional grouping in Southeast Asia which aimed to foster economic, cultural and social cooperation, she said.

Sanchez said ASEAN, due to the presence of regional players like China and India, had become the world's third fastest growing economy.

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Source: Anadolu Agency