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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Carr plans South-East Asia visit

Carr plans South-East Asia visit
Foreign Minister Bob Carr will travel to Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore.

While Senator Carr visited New Zealand as foreign minister-designate, this will be his first trip since being formally sworn in last week.

Senator Carr wants the trip to highlight the priority Australia places on its relationship with South-East Asia.

'This region is critical to Australia's long-term national interest - politically, economically and for regional and global security,' he said in a statement.

'The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been central to the development of a prosperous and stable region and to the increasing stature of regional institutions, particularly the East Asia Summit (EAS).'
Senator Carr will leave Australia on Saturday for Cambodia, the current chair of ASEAN and the EAS.

He will meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and visit some Australian-funded aid projects.

In Vietnam, he will meet Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and open the new Australian Consulate-General premises in Ho Chi Minh City.

In Singapore, he will meet Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam for talks on reforms in Burma and other topics.

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