Britain granted 'dialogue partner' status by ASEAN nations


FILE PHOTO: A Union Jack flag flutters as Big Ben clock tower is seen behind at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has been granted 'dialogue partner' status by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a joint communique issued by the group said.

"We agreed to accord the United Kingdom the status of Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in view of its individual relationship with ASEAN as well as its past cooperation and engagement with ASEAN when it was a member of the European Union," the communique said.

ASEAN members are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Becoming a dialogue partner gives Britain high-level access to ASEAN summits. The government hopes it will also spur deeper practical cooperation on issues like climate change and regional stability.

Britain has been seeking the status as part of its post-Brexit policy shift to focus diplomatic and trade towards Asia and the Indo-Pacific and away from the European Union.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Alistair Smout)

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