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Foreign Minister attends ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Phnom Penh

(VNA - 11/01/2012) - Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has affirmed Viet Nam’s close coordination with Cambodia for the common success of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Phnom Penh on Jan. 11, the Vietnamese FM expressed his support for the group’s topics in 2012 proposed by Cambodia as ASEAN Chair.

He stressed the group’s prioritised orientation on building the ASEAN Community, strengthening solidarity and connectivity, expanding external relations and promoting ASEAN’s proactive role, contributing to peace, cooperation and development in the region.

ASEAN should efficiently implement the roadmap of building the ASEAN Community and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, in combination with narrowing the development gap, developing the sub-region, including the Mekong sub-region, and promoting sustainable and equitable development in the region, Minh said.

Sharing other countries’ assessment of recent rapid changes that have impacted the region, FM Minh said that ASEAN needs to turn challenges into opportunities, to beef up ASEAN cooperation in all three political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars as well as between ASEAN and its partners.

Besides existing cooperative mechanisms and frameworks, ASEAN needs to be active in proposing new initiatives and measures, as well as elevating cooperation within the region and between ASEAN and its partners to a new height, helping maintain and bring into full play the decisive role of the group in the region.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Minister Minh hailed ASEAN’s proactive role and contributions and acknowledged results reached between ASEAN and China in adopting the document guiding the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

In recent years ASEAN has demonstrated the importance of its role and made contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region, upheld the principles of settling disputes through peaceful negotiations, respect of international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the DOC, and started the building of the Code of Conduct (COC), he said.

On this basis, Minh affirmed Viet Nam, in its capacity as coordinator in ASEAN-China dialogue relations, will work closely with ASEAN to accelerate dialogue, building mutual trust and understanding with China, including efforts towards building and completing the COC.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat wrapped up within the day./.

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