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European Commission - Press release
The EU and Brunei to launch negotiations on PCA
Brussels, 26 April 2012 - Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, had an audience with His Majesty the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei on 26 April, while visiting the Sultanate for the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. In their discussions, the Sultan welcomed the initiative to launch negotiations on a bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
Commenting on the launch, Catherine Ashton said: "The EU and Brunei have long enjoyed friendly and fruitful relations. These have been intensified for the last three years as Brunei has been responsible within ASEAN for co-ordinating the organisation's relations with the EU, a role which Brunei has performed with great diligence and creativity. I am delighted that we are now launching a process which formalises this partnership".
The EU has negotiated PCAs with a number of South-East Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. PCAs provide a framework for dialogue and closer cooperation in a range of areas, including politics, economics and trade.
The EU and Brunei expect to hold the first round of negotiations for the PCA in the coming months.
HRVP Ashton and the Sultan also discussed a number Asian regional issues during the meeting today. They also talked about the strengthening of the EU-ASEAN relations, in the light of the Ministerial Meeting of 26-27 April as well as the upcoming Brunei chairmanship of ASEAN in 2013.
HRVP Ashton today also met with the Foreign Minister of Brunei, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bolkiah.