ASEAN Foreign Ministers agree to advance COC negotiations

Regional officials gathered in Singapore on Monday and Tuesday for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, the first Ministerial Meeting under Singapore’s Chairmanship in 2018.

Participants agreed on the theme of Resilient and Innovative ASEAN, stressing the need to enhance the group’s resilience in politics, security, trade and the economy as well as its solidarity and central role in the region. They also agreed to ask for adoption of the mottos ASEAN Leaders’ Vision for a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN and ASEAN Leaders’ Vision on cyber security at the 32nd ASEAN Summit in April 2018.

Foreign ministers stressed the necessity of boosting ties with ASEAN partners while fostering solidarity within the bloc. They also discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula and the East Sea. They agreed to advance ASEAN-China negotiation on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea with the first formal negotiation starting in Vietnam from next month.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh committed Vietnam’s tight collaboration with other member countries to ensure the success of ASEAN 2018.

He asked member countries to be consistent with ASEAN stances on East Sea issues and implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and enhance mutual trust while building the COC. He suggested ASEAN and China have practical negotiations on an effective and binding COC, contributing to regional peace and stability.

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Source: VOV5

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