The East Sea issue will continue to be a focus in ASEAN’s 2013 agenda, Brunei ’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mohamed Bolkiah has stated.

His comment was made on April 11 at the closing session of three ASEAN meetings including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, the 9th ASEAN Politics-Security Community Council Meeting and the ASEAN Coordinating Council that were held in preparation for the 22nd ASEAN Summit later this month.

The participants in these meetings asserted the importance of maintaining peace, stability, mutual trust, cooperation and maritime security and using peaceful solutions to territorial disputes in the East Sea in conformity with the principles of recognised international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).

They affirmed the need for all sides to refrain themselves from taking any actions that can complicate or escalate tension in the region.

The foreign ministers continued confirming ASEAN’s six-point principle on the East Sea and the necessity to keep the momentum on dialogue and consultation reached at the 19 th consultation of ASEAN and Chinese senior officials.

Talking with the press at the end of these meetings, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the agreement to push ahead with negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea with China is the most outstanding outcome of the gathering.-VNA