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Asean 'central to success of region'

Publication Date : 19-07-2012


Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa – have reaffirmed their nations' commitment on the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in all regional issues.

Speaking to the Vietnamese media after talks with his Indonesian counterpart in Hanoi yesterday, Minh said that the unity and centrality of Asean had become most important.

He said this was especially so in the context that regional countries had agreed to build a stronger Asean community by 2015.

"And the East Sea issue has been the main concern of all member countries," he said.

The Foreign Minister said he highly valued the contributions of Indonesia on regional matters.

The Indonesian foreign minister arrived in Hanoi for continuation of discussions on the East Sea after the Asean meeting in Phnom Penh concluded last week.

He said this reflected both Indonesia's and Vietnam's commitment to maintaining the centrality of Asean – and its unity on the East Sea.

"We were able to compare some ideas, some notes on what are the basic principles that unite Asean. We identified six main principles," Natalegawa added.

He said that the six principles included the need to reaffirm the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties involved in the East Sea, the need to reaffirm the guidelines, the need to reaffirm the need for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, the need to respect international laws and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), the non-use of force and the solution of the conflict on the basis of Unclos.

"We want to thank Vietnam on its statesmanship on this issue," the Indonesian foreign minister said.

Natalegawa said he valued Vietnam's presidency in 2010 as well as its current "huge contribution" to Asean.

Natalegawa flew to the Philippines yesterday. He is scheduled to go to Cambodia today for similar discussions.


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