ASEAN week kicks off in capital Ankara

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will launch ASEAN Week in the capital Ankara on Tuesday with several activities aimed at strengthening ties between Turkey and member countries.

In the first of such an event, a film screening and exhibitions of photographs and handicrafts will be presented by ASEAN members, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam.

The opening ceremony of the program will be hosted by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and events will continue until Friday.

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Thai Ambassador to Turkey and ASEAN (AAC) Ankara Committee Chairman Apirat Sugondhabhirom pointed out that ASEAN and Turkey are together celebrating the 55th anniversary of the association as well as the fifth anniversary of the sector dialogue partnership.

“We believe the successful organization of ASEAN Week is a testament to the growing partnership between ASEAN and Turkey,” the Ambassador added.

Sugondhabhirom also noted that ASEAN countries each have their unique cultures and customs which will be interesting for Turkish friends to experience. “We hope that the cultural activities held here at YTB will help raise awareness among Turkish audiences about ASEAN culture and traditions as well as ASEAN-Türkiye relations.”

To improve ties with Asian countries in different fields, Turkey launched the Asia Anew initiative in 2019. The initiative offers a new vision that could shape the future of Turkish foreign policy as a whole. It aims to improve relations with Asian countries in various fields, including education, defense industry, investment, trade, technology, culture and political dialogue.

Turkey views ASEAN as a key organization in the region, given its combined economy, vibrant population and strategic location. Türkiye applied to become an ASEAN Sector Dialogue Partner in 2015 and his application was accepted on August 5, 2017, during the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held in the Philippines.

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