As tensions rise in the Gaza strip, ASEAN ministers expressed concern over the regional impact of conflicts in the Middle East.
“Leaders appealed to end the violence in Gaza, particularly to end the killing of innocents,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Kao Kim Hourn said in a briefing yesterday.
Dozens of people have been killed in violence that has lasted less than a week. “[The] issue has given rise to... insecurity,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said a day earlier.
“In that spirit, the ministers discussed how that situation is going to unfold, how it’s going to impact many things that will be relevant to us. Certainly the price of energy, certainly the transport, certainly the fallout from any tension, any violence, and confrontation there is going to have an impact into the region too.”
The Middle East is by far the region’s largest oil importer, providing upwards of 80 per cent of Asia’s supply, Surin said.
Abby Seiff and Cheng Sokha
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