Vietnam PM hails ASEAN for its role

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung announced that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is the most important factor in safeguarding peace, security and cooperation in the region.

ASEAN, as the association is often known, is the key driving force for regional cooperation and connectivity in East Asia, PM Dung was quoted as saying in a report on the government website.

The remarks were made Saturday at a ceremony in Hanoi to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of ASEAN and the 15th anniversary of Vietnam's accession to the bloc.

PM Dung said the country will continue to join hands with all ASEAN members and partner countries and fulfill its role as the organization's Chair in 2010, he said.

At the ceremony, ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan hailed Vietnam for its great contributions to the association.

ASEAN comprises ten countries of Southeast Asia Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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