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Asean to advance despite 'unexpected mishap': Cambodian official

Publication Date : 09-08-2012


Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said yesterday that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) would move forward after last month's "unexpected mishap" when foreign ministers failed to issue an annual joint statement.

"Cambodia believes that Asean will continue to advance with the spirit of unity and solidarity, by setting aside issues we cannot yet reach consensus," he said.

"By so doing, we will be able to maintain the Asean central role in the face of the present evolving regional architecture."

Speaking at an Asean flag hoisting ceremony to mark the group's 45th anniversary, Hor Namhong said Asean "remains on the right track" towards forging a single community in 2015.

Asean has passed through "many difficult periods and challenges" over 45 years. With each challenge, "Asean always come out with a spirit of compromise," he said.

"With the 45-year history of significant milestones and the rock-solid foundation of solidarity, Asean, in my view, shall prevail and overcome every adversity."

The failure to issue the joint communique in Phnom Penh last month followed disagreement over how to deal with territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Asean members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam claim various parts of the sea while China says the maritime territory is historically Chinese.


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