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Ministerial Meeting
July 30, 2007

Charter likely to be signed at Singapore meeting
Foreign Minister George Yeo says he is optimistic that the final ASEAN Charter will be signed when the group meets in Singapore later this year.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Mr Yeo said the foreign ministers had a very good meeting on Monday morning and the spirit of cooperation and the determination to move forward was evident, Channel News Asia reported.

He added that the ministers have agreed to set up a human rights body under the provisions of the ASEAN Charter. Mr Yeo added that this was agreed upon with consensus.

There had been reports coming out of Manila that the newer members of ASEAN, in particular Myanmar, were not in favour of the human rights commission. But Mr Yeo assured that Myanmar has been taking a positive attitude towards all the developments.

Still, the ASEAN ministers have also agreed that the most important issues will be referred to the leaders. The theme for the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting is "One Caring and Sharing Community".

Singapore takes over the chairmanship of ASEAN from the Philippines later this week. CNA

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