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2nd LD writethru: Asian-African ministerial meeting opens, with Indonesian FM highlighting Bandung Spirit

Xinhua, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

The Asian-African ministerial meeting opened here Monday and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the Bandung Message, better known as the Bandung Spirit, remains a commitment to the political solidarity in the world.

Ministers of Asian and African countries held a meeting here in preparation for the Asian-African Summit 2015, which runs from April 22 to April 23 and the Commemoration of the 60th Asian- African Conference scheduled for April 24.

Marsudi, in her opening remarks at the ministerial meeting, said the Bandung Spirit discusses both political and moral messages to the world. "However, is a mere political message enough to address today' s challenges?"said the minister, calling for boost for stronger political and economic cooperation.

She told the opening ceremony that senior officials in their meeting on Sunday discussed the implementation of the Bandung Message and other documents relating to the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP)

The NAASP was launched at the previous event of the Asian- African Summit, which was held in Indonesia in 2005.

This year's event is featuring the theme of Reinvigorating of the NAASP.

The upcoming summit and the commemoration are to "herald a new chapter" for the Asian-African cooperation, said the Indonesian foreign minister.

She said the event will enable Asia and Africa to enhance the structural and systematic cooperation.

The first Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, was held in Indonesia in 1955, hosting delegations from 29 countries discussing major international issues.

The 1955 conference signaled the emergence of the developing countries as a rising force in the world arena, resulted in the nonaligned movement and the formation of the Third World.

A declaration was issued at the conference, containing 10 principles for handling international relations which was termed as the Bandung Spirit.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said 33 heads of state and government as well as representatives from 77 countries have confirmed their participation at the summit and the commemoration activities. Endi