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Minister asks ASEAN to beef-up co-operation

Update: January, 12/2012 - 09:55

PHNOM PENH — Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has affirmed Viet Nam's close coordination with Cambodia for the common success of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Phnom Penh yesterday, the Vietnamese FM expressed his support for the group's topics in 2012 proposed by Cambodia as ASEAN Chair.

He stressed the group's prioritising of building the ASEAN Community, streng-thening solidarity and connectivity, expanding external relations, promoting ASEAN's proactive role, and contributing to peace, cooperation and development in the region.

ASEAN should efficiently implement the roadmap of building the ASEAN Community and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, in combination with narrowing the development gap, developing the sub-region, including the Mekong sub-region, and promoting sustainable and equitable development in the region, Minh said.

Sharing other countries' assessment of the recent rapid changes that have impacted the region, Minh said that ASEAN needed to turn challenges into opportunities, to beef up ASEAN cooperation in the three political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars, as well as between ASEAN and its partners.

Besides the existing cooperative mechanisms and frameworks, ASEAN needed to be active in proposing new initiatives and measures, as well as elevating co-operation within the region and between ASEAN and its partners to a new height, helping to maintain and bring into full play the decisive role of the group in the region.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Minh hailed ASEAN's proactive role and contributions, acknowledging results reached between ASEAN and China in adopting the document guiding the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

In recent years ASEAN has demonstrated the importance of its role and made contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region, upheld the principles of settling disputes through peaceful negotiations, respect of international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the DOC, and it has started the building of the Code of Conduct (COC) , according to Minh.

On this basis, Minh affirmed Viet Nam's capacity as coordinator in ASEAN-China dialogue relations, and that he will work closely with ASEAN to accelerate dialogue and build mutual trust and understanding with China, including efforts towards building and completing the COC. — VNS

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