German foreign minister to boost links on South-East Asia visit
( dpa )- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier aims to boost contacts with the growth region of South-East Asia when he visits Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam at the head of a delegation of parliamentarians and business leaders next week.
The five-day trip begins Tuesday, when Steinmeier meets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Foreign Minister N Hassan Wirajuda and ASEAN General Secretary Surin Pitsuwan, according to information from
the German Foreign Ministry on Friday.
During its presidency of the European Union in the first half of last year, Germany was host to the EU-ASEAN summit in Nuremberg.
The talks would focus on extending bilateral ties, regional issues and increased international cooperation, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Steinmeier is to travel on to Singapore, described by the spokesman as Asia's hub, to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister George Yeo. Singapore currently heads ASEAN.
The German foreign minister's third stop is Vietnam, where he is to meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem in Hanoi. The trip concludes with talks in Ho Chi Minh City.
Steinmeier is to use the trip to advertise the holding of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009, presenting symbolic relay batons to his hosts.