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Asean near consensus on sea spat — Jakarta

Friday, July 20, 2012

Asean near consensus on sea spat — Jakarta

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 20 July 2012

PHNOM PENH — Southeast Asian nations are “on the cusp” of agreeing a statement of unity on the South China Sea dispute, Indonesia’s top diplomat yesterday said after meeting his Cambodian counterpart.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has taken on the role of mediator after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) failed to reach a common position on the row at a gathering in Phnom Penh last week.

“Despite suggestions to the contrary, in actual fact Asean remains united,” Natalegawa told reporters in the Cambodian capital, on the third leg of a regional peacemaking tour after visiting Hanoi and Manila last Wednesday.

Natalegawa said he was working to identify “basic Asean positions on the South China Sea” which would dispel the perception that the 10-member group is divided.

“We are now on the cusp of formalizing this consensus,” Natalegawa said. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, whose country holds the rotating Asean chairmanship, told reporters he hoped to announce the bloc’s joint position on Friday, pending “approval from all Asean foreign ministers.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1789-asean-near-consensus-on-sea-spat-%E2%80%94-jakarta

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