Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has called on foreign ministers from ASEAN member nations to convene a meeting ahead of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) in August to assess the increasing tensions in the East Sea.

According to a Philippine diplomat, the proposal was made amid China's increasingly aggressive moves to assert its sovereignty in the sea.
He stressed this is expected to be a special ASEAN ministerial-level meeting that will primarily focus on the East Sea issue, adding that ASEAN leaders are being consulted to fix the date and venue of the proposed meeting.

The diplomat also revealed his country supports the proposal, saying that the meeting will send a strong signal to China that ASEAN is very much concerned about its growing assertiveness.

He noted that ASEAN member nations are still serious concerned about recent tensions between China and Vietnam in the Hoang Sa (Paracels) archipelago.

In regards to the issue, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario also told press agencies earlier that Indonesia has proposed to serve as a mediator in the dispute.-VNA