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ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in preparation for 22nd ASEAN Summit end

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, April 11 (Xinhua) — ASEAN foreign affairs and trade ministers on Thursday held meetings and discussed, among others, the progress made since the 21st ASEAN Summit, including political and security cooperation.

The ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in preparation for the 22nd ASEAN Summit were held at the International Convention Centre.

ASEAN ministers discussed the on-going work on the publication of the ASEAN Security Outlook, and received reports from various ASEAN bodies for submission to the ASEAN leaders.

A press release issued following the closed-door meetings said ASEAN ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, mutual trust and cooperation to enhance maritime security, and of ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law.

The ministers also reiterated the need for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes.

The ministers reiterated their Statement on the Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea, and emphasized the need to maintain momentum on dialogue and consultations following the positive outcome of the 19th ASEAN-China Senior Officials consultation.

The ministers tasked their senior officials to work actively with China on the way forward for the early conclusion of the code of conduct on the basis of consensus, the press release said.

China says disputes over the sovereignty of some islands in the South China Sea and the overlapping of ocean rights in some parts of the region should be solved by the countries concerned through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of respecting history and international laws.


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