Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sea row won’t make agenda

Sea row won’t make agenda

Sea row won’t make agenda

120419_02b

Following a closed-door meeting, the defence ministers of Cambodia and Singapore announced yesterday that the controversial South China Sea dispute would not be placed on the agenda at next week’s ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

{jathumbnail}

Speaking to reporters after the session with his Singaporean counterpart, Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh recognised the importance of resolving the prickly dispute, describing it as a “key issue”, but said that it would not be a topic of discussion at the defence leaders’ summit, which begins next Tuesday in Siem Reap.

“The defence ministers of ASEAN have no obligation to raise [the issue] for discussion,” Tea Banh said.

Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen looked to other nations to take primary responsibility for resolving the dispute, which he said was “complex” and required “patience”.

“Cambodia and Singapore are non-claimant states, and I think that the other stakeholders will be able to move this issue forward,” Ng Eng Hen said.

The long-standing maritime row among China, Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam featured prominently at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting earlier this month, when Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the dispute was “unacceptable”.

In a statement released during the meeting, he urged ASEAN to agree on a code of conduct for the sea before approaching China to negotiate.

The Philippine Embassy stood by del Rosario’s statement yesterday, but did not provide further detail about next week’s Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.