Foreign ministers of ASEAN member states and 10 counterparts from partner countries at the 9th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Vientiane, Laos. — Photo AFP
VIENTIANE – Việt Nam has reiterated its stance on protecting peace, security, stability and maritime navigation and aviation in the South China Sea (East Sea) at separate meetings between ASEAN foreign ministers and their counterparts from partner countries in Laos.
Addressing the ASEAN+1 events, which took place within the framework of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh also expressed Việt Nam’s views on the Permanent Court of Arbitration which was formed in accordance with Appendix VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Expressing his concern over developments in the East Sea, the official underscored the need to exercise restraint, not take actions that complicate the situation, not use or threaten to use force, and observe principles of international law and the UNCLOS.
Việt Nam called on concerned parties to accelerate bilateral and multilateral consultations and negotiations and abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea while working towards the early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Việt Nam also appealed to partners and the international community to back endeavours to settle disputes peacefully, respect legal and diplomatic processes and contribute to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the East Sea and the region, he said.
Regarding relations between the ten-member group and partner countries, the Vietnamese delegation proposed a host of measures to foster result-oriented co-operation, particularly in areas like economy, trade, investment and information-technology, as well as in the fight against terrorism, cross-border crimes and climate change.
They suggested the partners provide more support for the bloc in building the ASEAN Community, carrying forward its central role in the region and contributing to regional peace, security and development.
At the meetings, many countries also expressed their concern over the complicated situation in the East Sea, which they said undermine trust and threaten peace, security and stability in the region. Countries stressed the common interest and the significance of keeping peace, stability, security and safety and freedom of maritime and over flight activities in the waters, and respecting international law.
Several countries reiterated their stance as stated in the past regarding the lawsuit filed by the Philippines at the PCA.
The foreign ministers also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, including the situation on the Korean peninsula, terrorism, maritime security, climate change, migration and human trafficking.
The partners welcomed the official establishment of the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015 and pledged to continue backing ASEAN’s central role and its efforts in realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
They agreed to step up cooperation with the bloc through the effective implementation of plans of action.
Dialogue partners of the ASEAN are China, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Japan, India, Australia, the US, the EU, Russia and New Zealand. — VNS