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July 27, 2008

Solving Asean problems:
Indonesian president suggests using cultural approaches

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he believed the cultural approach conducted by some ASEAN member countries could become an effective way to solve problems arising among them, reported Antara news agency.

"Six Asean member countries have a similar (Buddhist) civilisation heritage, which we should use to strengthen togetherness and brotherhood among Asean member countries and to step up the activities of cultural and religious tourism," the president said when opening the "Trail of Civilization" Art performance at the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Saturday night.

The president said, the remainder of civilisation existing in the six Asean member countries, namely Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar had left a moral message from the ancient time which could become guidance for the present.

"The past civilisation heritage could turn out creativity which could produce many kinds of arts, traditions and cultures with religious nuances. This kind of creative process could strengthen friendship and harmonious international relations," Yudhoyono said, refering to art performances about the Buddhist story of life in the six Asean member countries.

Cambodia`s representative did not take part in the arts performance due to the general election in the country.

Asean groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The president also noted that in 2006 the six Asean member countries had issued the Borobudur Declaration as a commitment to strenghthen cooperation in culture, maintain world peace and support peace among nations.

"We also agreed to revitalize the physical and non-physical forms of the cultural heritage, including the promotion of the values of civilisation through the conservation of cultural tourism," he said.

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