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Foreign ministers cement ties at ASEAN+1 meet

Update: July, 12/2012 - 10:05

HA NOI — Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting + 1 yesterday with 10 ASEAN partners and co-chaired the ASEAN – China Foreign Ministers' Meeting in his capacity as co-ordinator in Phnom Penh.

Addressing the events, Minh hailed the practical progress made in the relationship between ASEAN and its partners. He asked them to continue to implement co-operation programmes effectively and to step up co-operation in mutually beneficial fields.

Minh asked the partners to continue supporting and contributing to building the ASEAN Community, regional connectivity, narrowing the development gap, and supporting ASEAN's central role at regional forums like ASEAN+1, ASEAN+ 3, the East Asia Summit, the Asia Regional Forum, and ADMM +.

At the ASEAN – China Foreign Ministers' Meeting co-chaired by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Minh reviewed Viet Nam 's activities in its capacity as co-ordinator for ASEAN – China dialogue relations.

He spoke highly of bilateral co-operation in various fields and the implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Minh said Viet Nam had been and would be making active contributions to the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for peace and prosperity.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his ASEAN counterparts highly valued Viet Nam's important role in promoting ASEAN-China dialogue relations over the past three years, and expressed his hope for co-ordination and co-operation with other countries in the future.

During the talks, Minh expressed his concern over the recent complex situation in the East Sea, including the violation of Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. He said this ran counter to international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and DOC regulations, harming peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the region.

Minh underlined the principles of respecting countries' coastal sovereignty and jurisdictional rights over their exclusive economic zones and continental shelves as outlined in UNCLOS, settling disputes by peaceful measures without using the use of force, respecting international law, especially UNCLOS and the DOC, while building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

On the sidelines of the events, FM Minh met with his counterparts from China, Canada, Pakistan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to discuss bilateral issues and the focus of their talks.

Chinese partnership

Yesterday Minh held talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM 45).

During the talks, the two sides exchanged views on their countries' relations in the past and ways to boost the Viet Nam-China comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership in the time to come as well as international and regional issues.

Regarding Viet Nam-China relations, the two sides affirmed the importance of the comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership, saying that the stable development of the bilateral relations was in the common interests of the two peoples, contributing to peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

The two sides agreed on the necessity to maintain the exchange of delegations and meetings and to promote friendship exchanges and comprehensive co-operation between the two countries.

On sea issues, the two sides agreed to settle all disputes through peaceful and friendly negotiations with mutual respect to legitimate interests based on common awareness reached between the two countries' leaders.

Minh raised Viet Nam's concerns over recent complications in the East Sea, and voiced his opposition to the establishment of Sansha city and the international invitation for bids at nine lots within Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and affirmed the necessity to comply with international laws, especially UNCLOS and the DOC.

FMs gather for ASEAN+1

The ASEAN+1 Foreign Ministers Meetings with 10 ASEAN partners took place in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended all the meetings and co-chaired the ASEAN-China meeting as co-ordinator of bilateral relations.

At the ASEAN-Australia Foreign Ministers Meeting, both sides underscored the necessity to effectively implement the second phase of the ASEAN-Australia Development Co-operation Programme (2008-2015) and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

At the ASEAN-New Zealand Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ministers reached a consensus on further promoting bilateral co-operation in trade and investment, small – and medium-sized enterprises, disaster management, the environment, climate change and the Mekong sub-region development.

At the ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ministers pledged to continue effectively implementing the ASEAN-Japan Action Plan for the 2011-2015 period, and agreed to accelerate the negotiations of the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment.

At the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers Meeting, the FMs were unanimous they would effectively implement the action programme for the 2011-2015 period to implement the joint Declaration on the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity.

China voiced its support for the implementation of the master plan on ASEAN connectivity.

The two sides affirmed their commitment to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

At the ASEAN-Canada Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ministers applauded the implementation of initiatives and activities to mark 35 years of the ASEAN-Canada dialogue relation in 2012, and agreed to push the implementation of the 2010-2015 ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action.

At the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ministers said they would speed up the implementation of the Plan of Action and the Declaration on ASEAN-India Partnership for the 2010-2015 period.

At the ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers Meeting, the FMs agreed to continue implementing effectively the Comprehensive Programme of Action for 2005-2015, and suggested considering the possibility of establishing an ASEAN-Russia Business Council as well as a bilateral Free Trade Area to strengthen trade and investment co-operation.

At the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ministers stated they would boost the effective implementation of the 201-2015 Action Plan, implement the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity, and applauded the establishment of the Permanent Delegation at ASEAN by the RoK.

At the ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers Meeting, the FMs said their countries should implement effectively the 2011-2015 ASEAN-US Action Plan, and boost the realisation of this year's ASEAN-US Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment. The two sides highly valued the ASEAN-US Business Forum held by the US, and pledged to speed up co-operation in maritime security, education, climate change adaptation and co-operation between countries in the Mekong region and the US.

At the ASEAN – European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers Meeting, the participants hailed the EU's signing of the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in the Southeast Asia.

They also vowed to speed up the effective implementation of the list of actions for the 2011-2013 period within the framework of the Action Plan to implement the Declaration on the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership, and agreed to promptly build a list of actions to carry out the Action Plan for the 2013-2017 period, which was adopted at the ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brunei in April.

At the meeting, Minh officially accepted the role as regulator for ASEAN-EU relations for the 2012-2015 period.

Bilateral talks

ASEAN foreign ministers held bilateral meetings with their counterparts from New Zealand, Australia and Japan yesterday to discuss efforts to promote ties and international and regional issues of mutual concern.

At the talks with Japanese FM Koichiro Gemba, they touched upon the enhancement of maritime security and safety.

Gemba emphasised the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the East Sea , saying that the stability of sea lanes is vital for economic development of each country in the region.

Talking with the press following the meeting with the ASEAN counterparts, New Zealand FM Murray McCully affirmed that ASEAN is playing an increasing role in New Zealand 's economy, especially in the context that Europe is now facing many difficulties because of the global financial crisis.

On the same day, ASEAN FMs met their Australian counterpart Bob Carr to discuss the regional security situation and other issues of mutual concern. —VNS


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