ASEAN foreign ministers agree on draft COC framework, concerned about DPRK’s weapon programme

Saturday, 2017-08-05 11:39:40
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Delegates at the opening of AMM 50 in Manila, the Philippines, on August 5. (Credit: EPA/VNA)
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NDO/VNA – ASEAN foreign ministers on August 5 reached a consensus on a draft framework for a code of conduct (COC) of parties in the East Sea.

>>> Vietnam attends 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

The draft is expected to be submitted to the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for approval one day later.

Robespierre Bolivar, acting spokesperson of the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department, said on the first working day of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 50) in Manila, the ASEAN ministers endorsed the COC framework for eventual adoption on August 6.

This document will help ASEAN and China move forward to negotiating an effective COC, he added.

Also the same day, representatives at the AMM 50 criticised the missiles and nuclear weapon programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

In a statement issued at the meeting, ASEAN foreign ministers expressed their concerns about increasing tension in the region after two ballistic missile tests of the DPRK last month.

They also urged the DRPK, a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), to strictly abide by relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and have constructive, practical actions to contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Asian-Pacific region.

Earlier, the DPRK affirmed its launch of Hwasong-14 ballistic missile on July 28, the second consecutive launch of its intercontinental missile.

The foreign ministers of ASEAN and 17 dialogue partners will meet on August 7 at the ASEAN Regional Forum – an important multilateral security dialogue to discuss hot issues in the region.

The AMM 50 and related meetings will last until August 8. The Vietnamese delegation to the meetings is led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.