LUBECK, Germany — The Group of Seven nations expressed concern over maritime activities to claim disputed islands in Asian waters and condemned terrorism by Islamic State militants.
Wrapping up a two-day meeting on Wednesday in Lubeck, Germany, the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States also urged North Korea to suspend all nuclear programmes.
In the first G7 document of its kind focusing on maritime security, the foreign ministers said they "are concerned by any unilateral actions, such as large-scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions".
"We strongly oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force," the G-7 foreign ministers said, without naming a specific country.
The G7 mentioned the importance of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty as a way to create a world without nuclear weapons, and said the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are reminders of "the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons use".
The G7 urged ASEAN-China talks to speed up their negotiations on concluding a binding code of conduct as a means of settling territorial disputes over islets in the South China Sea.
The foreign ministers released the maritime security statement separately from the main communique covering various political and security issues, which will be input at the G7 summit in June in Germany.
The G7 "strongly condemn" Islamic State militants for their "attacks, atrocities, unlawful killings and abuses of human rights" in Syria and Iraq, and "welcome the formation of the global coalition" of more than 60 countries to counter the militants, according to the communiqué.
The G7 also blasted North Korea for producing plutonium as well as enriching uranium and repeated a call on the country to halt all its nuclear programmes and development of ballistic missiles.
On Ukraine, the G7 demanded the country's sovereignty be respected and urged continued implementation of a truce agreed between the Ukrainian government and insurgents in February. — KYODO