Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with visiting Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario in Hanoi on July 2.

The two sides discussed measures to actively realise agreements reached during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to the Philippines from May 21-22.

They agreed to hold the first meeting of the joint committee led by the two foreign ministries in the third quarter of this year and promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, security, defence, economics, agriculture, food security, fisheries, culture, education and tourism.

Both sides highly valued the significance of the implementation of bilateral cooperation agreements and mechanisms, including those on sea, ocean, and fisheries cooperation.

Deputy PM Minh thanked the Philippine side for its active support and assistance for the release and repatriation of Vietnamese fishermen who were detained in the waters of the Philippines.

Regarding the regional and global situation, the two sides exchanged views on ASEAN cooperation and the East Sea issue.

They affirmed to continue joining efforts with ASEAN countries in successfully building the ASEAN Community, esteem the unity and promote the central role of the association in regional collaboration and the evolving regional architecture.

ASEAN should demonstrate a united and responsible voice over important issues in the region, including the East Sea issue, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, they stressed.

Amid China’s unilateral illegal acts in the East Sea, including the placement of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, the two sides reiterated the importance of seriously complying with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002, which highlight principles on exercising restraint, solving disputes by peaceful means and no use of or threat to use of force.

They spoke highly of ASEAN’s active role in and contributions to ensuring peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety in the East Sea.

They also highlighted the importance of the May 10, 2014 Statement of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the East Sea, which demanded an end to violations of international law and the DOC, and the exercise of restraint to ease tensions and not further complicate the situation.

The statement urged the full and serious implementation of the DOC in parallel with speeding up practical discussions for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduction in the East Sea (COC).-VNA