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Indonesian capital poised to become ASEAN diplomatic hub


JAKARTA, (Xinhua): With the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat headquartered in Indonesian capital of Jakarta, city governor Joko Widodo vowed to make the city the diplomatic capital of ASEAN, local media reported Friday.

"We will do anything within our power to prove ourselves as an extraordinary host," Joko said Thursday during a meeting with a team from the ASEAN Secretariat led by Ambassador Bagas Hapsoro, the former Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community & Corporate Affairs.

The governor said that he values having the ASEAN Secretariat headquartered in Jakarta and believes in connecting the ASEAN member states to Indonesia.

As ASEAN is tasked with implementing a free trade zone by 2015, Bagas said, the success of ASEAN and the diplomatic presence of missions and other international organizations added to significant economic and political benefits in Jakarta that would continue for years to come. "We should take a fresh look on how we can accommodate both ASEAN and non-ASEAN citizens who work to sustain the centrality of ASEAN," Bagas was quoted by the Jakarta Globe as saying.

To back the Indonesian government's mission of making Jakarta the diplomatic capital city of the region, Bagas urged the expansion of ASEAN Secretariat, currently located in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.

The officials agreed that the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 required a enhanced Secretariat with better facilities to fulfill its mission.

Editor: Hou Qiang

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