ULAN BATOR, July 15 (Xinhua) — The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit opened in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, on Friday to promote "partnership for the future through connectivity."

Before the opening ceremony, leaders at the summit meeting observed a minute of silence for those killed in the deadly attack in the French city of Nice overnight.

Delivering a keynote speech, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj spoke highly of the achievements of the ASEM over the past 20 years and vowed to enhance cooperation and connectivity between Asia and Europe.

"Mongolia, located at the conjunction point between Asia and Europe, is ready to facilitate the exchange and connectivity between the two continents," he said.

The president said Asia and Europe share a wide scope of common interests and challenges, which require the two sides to take joint action.

He called on the relevant countries to further enhance policy coordination and participate in constructing connectivity between Asia and Europe, so as to build up the new type of comprehensive partnership.

Elbegdorj said that the summit will conclude with a chair's statement and a "Ulan Bator Declaration," which will look back on the cooperation over the past 20 years and point out the direction of ASEM for the coming decade.

ASEM is an intergovernmental forum for dialogue and cooperation aimed to foster political dialogue, reinforce economic cooperation and promote collaboration in other areas of common interest.

This year the ASEM Summit brings together leaders and delegates from 51 countries, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a discussion on a blueprint for future cooperation.