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ASEAN+3 Co-op Urged to Tackle Food Crisis

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in Singapore on Tuesday that ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) must strengthen their cooperation in order to better tackle the global food crisis.

Yang made the remarks at the current ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore.

"We should give greater priority to 10+3 cooperation in agriculture", said Chinese foreign minister.

He said China will work closely with other countries and provide support to ASEAN countries, including sharing agricultural expertise, expanding agro-technology cooperation and strengthening personnel training to help ASEAN countries improve agricultural productivity, raise food self-sufficiency rate and promote economic growth and social stability.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Yang said the 10+3 countries have conducted dynamic high-level exchanges and dialogue and mutual understanding and trust have continued to deepen. Citing the devastating cyclone in Myanmar and the massive earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, he added "the 10+3 countries supported and helped each other".

On the joint efforts to address rising food prices, ASEAN member countries stressed Monday the importance of regional and international efforts to ensure the efficient functioning of market forces as well as to come up with longer term agricultural solutions.

(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2008)

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