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July 24, 2008

Asean Ministerial Meeting:
Energy ministers to find ways to cope with oil crisis

Energy ministers of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are set to meet in Thailand and brainstorm ways to cope with the oil price crisis early next month, according to Thai Energy Minister Poonpirom Liptapanlop.

She said the 26th Asean Energy Ministers Meeting would be held in Thailand during August 4-8. Participants from each member of Asean would brainstorm a common strategy to alleviate the current oil price crisis. They would be asked to reveal a practical strategy they had adopted to cope with the crisis.

The Thai energy minister said Thailand would propose the use of alternative energy, particularly bio-fuel, as an agenda of Asean.

In addition, Thailand would step up its efforts to have Asean members pool sources of energy through the power transmission line and gas pipeline in the region to boost stability of the group’s energy affair in the long run, she said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia calls on Asean and its dialogue partners to collectively deal with energy and food crisis, reported Malaysian news agency Bernama.

"We have been expressing this need.It is of course a difficult issue and cannot be dealt with overnight. "The reasons for the meteoric rise in price of oil must be linked to the role of those who are exploiting the situation," said Malaysian Foreign Minister, Dr Rais Yatim, in his meeting with reporters after attending the Asean Ministerial Meeting with the dialogue partners here Wednesday.

According to Rais, oil producers too must once again entertain the idea of having constructive meetings with end users.

"We must find a solution globally and see what other ways the United Nations can play a role as well.

"We in Asean are not oil producers like the Middle East countries.Therefore, we can only champion the cause through deliberations," he said.

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