ASEAN's central role in East Sea issue to be strengthened


Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has highly valued the contributions by Indonesia and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to enhancing ASEAN’s role. 
Vietnam will continue to closely work with Indonesia in the field and together with other ASEAN members push up the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015, FM Minh told his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa, at their talks in Hanoi on July 18.
The two ministers discussed ASEAN-related issues, including the East Sea , and agreed that in the current context, it is necessary to consolidate and strengthen the group’s central role in the region.
They also agreed that the East Sea is a common interest of ASEAN and the region.
Minister Minh said he supports the Indonesian FM’s initiative on bringing into full play the central role of ASEAN on the East Sea issue as well as the proposal on six fundamental principles on the East Sea . It stresses the respect and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), enhancement of the implementation of Principles guiding the implementation of the DOC, the building of the Code of Conduct soon, the respect of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of all aforementioned laws and regulations.
Minister Marty Natalegawa spoke highly of Vietnam’s active role and responsible contributions to ASEAN, including maintaining solidarity and promoting ASEAN’s key role to peace and security in the region.
Both ministers also discussed other issues relating to bilateral relations.
The Indonesian Minister told reporters that the talks following discussions last week in Phnom Penh , Cambodia , reflected the commitment of both Indonesia and Vietnam to maintaining the group’s central role and unanimity on the East Sea, based on its fundamental principles.
Minister Marty Natalegawa affirmed six main principles to solve the East Sea issue are basic and said he believes ASEAN will reach a consensus on the issue.
Minister Minh stressed the importance of solidarity and the central role of ASEAN in the context of regional member countries working towards a community by 2015.-VNA