MULTILATERAL ENGAGEMENT WITH THE MIDDLE EAST
Singapore mooted the idea of establishing an Asia-Middle East Dialogue (AMED) in 2004 as part of our efforts to foster political, economic and cultural engagement between Asia and the Middle East. Singapore hosted the inaugural AMED Ministerial Meeting in 2005, which was attended by leaders from Asia and Middle East. Since then, AMED has produced a number of initiatives including the Regional Training Centres in Jordan and Qatar. The AMED has also organised workshops and meetings on issues of interest to member countries.
At the Second AMED Ministerial Meeting (AMED II), which was hosted by Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh in April 2008, then-Minister (Foreign Affairs) George Yeo announced that Singapore would establish and host the AMED Virtual Secretariat. Singapore hosted the AMED Media Roundtable in August 2009, which was well-attended by Middle Eastern and Asian journalists. The Third AMED Ministerial Meeting was held in Thailand in 2010.
In November 2013, the Memorandum of Understanding which formalised public sector cooperation with Qatar under the AMED initiative was renewed for another three years, new training courses were added and the number of courses conducted per year was increased. In February 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding on Human Resource Development under the AMED framework was signed with Jordan to expand the scope of courses offered at the Regional Vocational Training Centre in Jordan.