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Foreign ministers reiterate ASEAN’s resolve to resume South China Sea talks

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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Pham Binh Minh opens the 22nd ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) meeting on Tuesday. VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS

Foreign ministers reiterate ASEAN’s resolve to resume South China Sea talks

ASEAN foreign ministers reiterated the bloc’s resolve to resume negotiations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea (known as East Sea by Vietnam) with China during the 22nd ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council Meeting held online on Tuesday.

At the meeting held ahead of the 37th ASEAN Summit slated for November 12-15, the ministers expressed pleasure at the new developments of the APSC despite a range of difficulties, as well as the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They highly valued the contributions of agencies under the APSC, such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), to the pandemic fight.

The ministers said up to 98 per cent of the APSC action plan had been completed, describing this as a landmark in the ASEAN Community building.

However, more work needed to be done, they said, urging the agencies under the APSC to accelerate the implementation of the remaining action lines, and revamp their operation methods proactively and flexibly.

They stressed the significance of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the statement issued by ASEAN foreign ministers on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the grouping (August 8, 1967).

ASEAN needs to carry forward the principles stated in these important documents and work harder to materialise the commitments included in the documents, they agreed.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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