|8th Asia-Europe Meeting|
Designated by President Benigno Aquino III as Special Envoy of the Republic of the Philippines, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo (right photo, back row, third from right) poses with Asian and European leaders during the recently concluded 8th Asia-Europe Meeting, which was held on 4 to 5 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Among those in the photo (right photo) are: His Majesty Albert II, King of the Belgians (front row, right); European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy (front row, left); French President Nicolas Sarkozy (second row, right); and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The ASEM 8 Summit in Brussels welcomes Australia, Russia, and New Zealand, as they participated at the Summit level for the first time. ASEM was established in 1996 with 26 partner countries and held its first summit in Bangkok. Since then, it has grown to include 48 partners, comprising of 46 countries and 2 international organizations namely: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat.
His Majesty Albert II, King of Belgians, (center), welcomes Secretary Romulo (second from left) and the Heads of Delegation of the 48 ASEM partner countries at the Royal Palace in Brussels on 04 October 2010. Also in the photo are (from left): European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
During the two-day Summit, Secretary Romulo also had bilateral meetings with the British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere.
Secretary Romulo (left photo, extreme left) joins the other Heads of Delegation during the visit to the BOZAR exhibition entitled "A Passage to Asia". His Royal Highness Prince Philippe and Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde (right photo, third from left) and European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy (left photo, center and right photo, extreme left) welcomed the leaders to the exhibit.
"A Passage to Asia" highlights 2,500 years of exchanges between Asia and Europe. The exhibition presents an exceptional selection of over 300 cultural artifacts and decorative and artistic objects from Asia never previously shown in Europe: burial urns, bronze ritual drums, gold jewellery, ivories, old maps, and unique textiles, as well as extraordinary cargo recently discovered from shipwrecks, including more than 35 artifacts which were directly shipped from the Philippines. The exhibition coincides with the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) 2010 Summit hosted by the Belgian Government, whjich is currently holding the rotating EU Presidency.