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Prime Minister attends 26th ASEAN Summit

Update: April, 27/2015 - 08:51
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
KUALA LUMPUR (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to attend the 26th ASEAN Summit, at the invitation of his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

He was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Nguyen Van Nen, and Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, among others.

With the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision," the summit will focus on identifying ways to promote links among member nations of ASEAN.

At the plenary session, there will be discussions over measures to form an ASEAN Community in 2015 and to frame the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision.

Viet Nam's participation in the event is expected to boost connectivity among member states of ASEAN, as well as strengthen solidarity and unity, which will, in turn, make the group's operation more effective and push the bloc to ensure peace, security, cooperation and development in the region.

ASEAN foreign ministers

ASEAN foreign ministers convened yesterday in Malaysia to prepare ahead of the 26th ASEAN Summit today.

During the meeting, they reviewed the content of the summit including the establishment of the ASEAN Community 2015 and its post-2015 vision, ASEAN foreign relations with other countries, and regional and international issues with a major focus on the East Sea.

With regards to the development of the ASEAN Community 2015, Viet Nam's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh called for ASEAN member countries to show stronger determination on the path to building the community on three pillars; political-security, economic and cultural communities.

Minh affirmed Viet Nam's determination to work with ASEAN members to build the community, especially economic agreements that Viet Nam had committed to and the remaining political-security measures Viet Nam had pledged to ensure that the ASEAN Community could take shape by the end of 2015.

"Viet Nam will take an active role in developing the Draft Vision of the ASEAN Community 2015 with practical contents for the post-2015 period, while working closely with member countries to address and respond effectively to regional and international challenges," Minh said.

"Considering complicated regional and global developments, ASEAN should strengthen co-operation to overcome challenges of traditional and non-traditional security."

Regarding the issue of East Sea, Minh highlighted the country's respect for international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), self-control, and the non-use or threat to use force.

He requested ASEAN to increase its solidarity and unity as well as its role in ensuring peace, stability, and maritime security and safety in the East Sea; and to accelerate exchanges with China to fully and effectively exercise the DOC (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea) and complete the COC (Code of Conduct for Parties in the East Sea).

At the AMM, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario asked ASEAN to "stand up for what is right", but Malaysia, the current ASEAN chair, maintained that the group would not opt for a confrontational approach.

Del Rosario claimed that if China's reclamation work on one of the reefs in the disputed waters was allowed to be completed, Beijing would "succeed in defining and imposing its unlawful sovereignty claim over more than 85 per cent of the East Sea".

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters at the end of the meeting: "We don't believe in being confrontational. We believe in negotiation. That's the approach that we are going to make."

Anifah also said the Philippines "is free to issue any statement, but insofar as ASEAN is concerned, we want to engage with China".

But the Malaysian minister urged China to stop the reclamation work while a solution was being negotiated.— VNS/KYODO

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