Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Simon McDonald, said that United Kingdom (UK) is targeting to immediately have an embassy for ASEAN and appoint a definitive ambassador this year. After meeting with the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political and Security Community Department, Hoang Anh Tuan Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community Department, Aladdin D. Rillo at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Thursday (10/1), Simon McDonald, said the British Embassy for ASEAN would be located at the British Embassy in Jakarta, and British ambassador in Jakarta, Moazzam Malik was appointed as the British Ambassador to ASEAN temporarily.
“So I was able to tell the deputy secretary general that this year was an ambassador dedicated to ASEAN, a base for a good discussion about the development of the United Kingdom's relationship with ASEAN. So far the relationship between United Kingdom and ASEAN has already broked by the European Union, while we are not in the European Union, we are going to have to do this by ourselves, and this is the signal that we want to do this but a serious way,” said Simon.
Simon McDonald was in Jakarta to attend the Annual Meeting with the British Ambassadors in ASEAN countries. According to McDonald they discussed, among others, the geopolitical shift in the region and the rise of China, as well as various things that UK could do to support ASEAN for welfare and ensure security in the region. Simon McDonald added that the two-day meeting was discussed about increasing cooperation with ASEAN in the fields of trade and investment, security and defense, cyber and fintech, English language education and teaching, and human rights and democracy in the ASEAN region. (voi / retno / edit r)