Van Orden to co-chair Asia-Europe political forum
The first meeting of the Asia-Europe Political Forum (AEPF) has taken place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at a time of high international tension in the region. It involved senior political party representatives from 19 Asian and nine European countries.
The Asian side has had a forum since 2000 when the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) was launched in Manila, Philippines by the major political parties from different countries in the region and with various ideologies, in order to promote cooperation and enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries.
AEPF provides an opportunity for a similar link up between ICAPP and political parties from Europe. On this first occasion the invitation was to political groups in the European Parliament but in future there will be an opportunity for wider engagement, including by political parties from countries in Europe not necessarily in the European Union.
ECR Group Vice Chair Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who was elected Co-Chairman along with the Hon. Hor Namhong from Cambodia, commented: “At a time of rising international tension, we must welcome every opportunity for wider contact and cooperation between Asia and Europe. As a British politician, I am particularly conscious of the deep historic economic, political, and strategic links between the UK and so many Asian countries and the fact that these have often been neglected in recent decades.
“This forum offers another opportunity for close engagement between influential politicians from a wide range of Asian and European countries.We look forward to deepening this relationship.”