|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Dung
KUALA LUMPUR (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has proposed initiatives to further the role of the ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in peace, security and development in East Asia.
Speaking at the 22nd ARF Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ARF 22), the ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ASEAN+ 3 FMM) and the fifth EAS FMM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday, Minh stressed that the ASEAN+3, EAS and ARF should strengthen widespread co-operation while ensuring ASEAN's central role, addressing regional security challenges and promoting regional connectivity.
He asked partners to continue supporting ASEAN to achieve community-building goals beyond 2015.
In the evening the same day, the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings with partners closed. A final joint statement among the ministers was approved at the meeting.
At his bilateral meeting yesterday with Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Minh asked the EU to finalise the approval of a Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Co-operation (PCA) soon. This would help create a legal framework for the two sides to develop, he said.
The EU representative praised the role of Viet Nam in ASEAN.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides shared their concerns over recent developments, especially large-scale reclamation and construction on islands in the East Sea. These have changed the status quo, causing instability and threatening maritime and aviation security, as well as the region's ecological environment. They agreed that related parties should not take action that may make the situation more complicated. Disputes should be solved peacefully and based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the future Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).
Also yesterday, the Vietnamese Deputy PM met Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.
Bishop said that Australia valued its friendship and co-operation with Viet Nam. She agreed that the two countries should enhance co-operation and exchanges at high-ranking levels, as well as take advantage of current bilateral co-operation frameworks to develop the comprehensive partnership between the two countries and meet the practical interests of the two peoples. She also said Australia strongly opposed China's unilateral actions in the East Sea. All disputes must be solved by peaceful measures, based on international law, she added. — VNS