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South China Sea talks ‘on track’

Just weeks before next month’s high-level ASEAN summit, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong met with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa yesterday to discuss a much-anticipated Code of Conduct governing dispute resolution in the South China Sea.

Observers had hoped Asean states might this year sign off on the document more than a decade in the making, but finalising a draft has proved nearly impossible with competing interests taking a front seat.

Namhong said progress remained on track, adding that regional officials will meet with their Chinese counterparts in Thailand next week to discuss the document.

“I hope the process of the CoC will be smoothly moving forward,” he said.

Starting yesterday, senior officials from ASEAN states gathered in Phnom Penh to discuss preparations for the 21st summit, scheduled for November 15-20.

Namhong said China, South Korea, Japan and the US have confirmed their attendance.

To contact the reporters on this story: Vong Sokheng at sokheng.vong@phnompenhpost.com
Cheang Sokha at sokha.cheang@phnompenhpost.com

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