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Friday, July 15, 2016, 18:01

ASEM summit kicks off in Ulan Bator

By Xinhua

ASEM summit kicks off in Ulan Bator
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Ulaanbaatar on July 15, 2016. (Photo/provided to China Daily)

ULAN BATOR - The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit opened in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, on Friday to promote "partnership for the future through connectivity."

Premier Li Keqiang said this year marks the 20th anniversary of ASEM, and all parties should uphold the meeting’s consensus of mutual respect and friendly consultation, explore new ways to promote comprehensive cooperation of Asia and Europe, and enhance the scope of cooperation.

In this regard, he put forward three suggestions: innovate ideas, accumulate momentum and lay a humanistic foundation for Asia and Europe cooperation.

Before the opening ceremony, leaders at the summit meeting observed a minute of silence for those killed in the deadly attack in the French city of Nice overnight. Delivering a keynote speech, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj spoke highly of the achievements of the ASEM over the past 20 years and vowed to enhance cooperation and connectivity between Asia and Europe.

ASEM summit kicks off in Ulan Bator

The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit is held in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on July 15, 2016. (Xinhua photo)

"Mongolia, located at the conjunction point between Asia and Europe, is ready to facilitate the exchange and connectivity between the two continents," he said.

The president said Asia and Europe share a wide scope of common interests and challenges, which require the two sides to take joint action.

He called on the relevant countries to further enhance policy coordination and participate in constructing connectivity between Asia and Europe, so as to build up the new type of comprehensive partnership.

Elbegdorj said that the summit will conclude with a chair's statement and a "Ulan Bator Declaration," which will look back on the cooperation over the past 20 years and point out the direction of ASEM for the coming decade.

ASEM is an intergovernmental forum for dialogue and cooperation aimed to foster political dialogue, reinforce economic cooperation and promote collaboration in other areas of common interest.

This year the ASEM Summit brings together leaders and delegates from 51 countries, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a discussion on a blueprint for future cooperation.

ASEM summit kicks off in Ulan Bator
Premier Li Keqiang is welcomed by Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, as he arrives for the opening ceremony of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Ulaanbaatar on July 15, 2016. (Photo/provided to China Daily)
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