The Permanent Council of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) at its 92th meeting in Paris, France, issued a document voicing concerns about the current East Sea tension between Vietnam and China and calling upon all sides to solve disputes through dialogue and peaceful measures.

The session was attended by ambassadors and representatives of 77 OIF member governments along with those of observing countries.

Ambassador Duong Van Quang, personal representative of President Truong Tan Sang for La Francophonie, informed participants about the recent developments in the East Sea .

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally positioned the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location was 80 miles deep into Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam ’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China ’s armed vessels aggressively fired high-power water cannons at and intentionally rammed against Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.

Quang stressed that such acts of China violate Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the China – ASEAN Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

They also jeopardise peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea , he said, adding that Vietnam persistently pursues peaceful measures to solve disputes.

Presiding over the session, OIF General Secretary Abdou Diouf expressed his worry about the tensions and urged all parties concerned to exercise utmost restraint and settle their disagreement peacefully through dialogue and with absolute respect for international law.

Representatives of some countries also shared Diouf’s viewpoint on the issue.-VNA