Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasised the importance of sustainable development in the Mekong region and the maintenance of peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea.

The government leader made the remarks at a press conference following the 16 th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which came to an end in Hanoi on April 9.

Regarding cooperation in the Mekong sub-region, PM Dung said that ASEAN always considers cooperation for development in the Mekong sub-region a priority. At the summit, the ASEAN leaders discussed a range of issues, including ways to enhance the connectivity of infrastructures to promote sustainable development in the Mekong region combined with environmental protection and efforts to combat climate change.

At the summit, ASEAN applauded the outcomes reached at the first Summit of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), which was held in Hua Hin , Thailand , on April 4 and 5, he said.

The summit also showed support for commitments by the MRC member nations to enhance cooperation, manage and sustainabley exploit the natural resources in the Mekong River .

Referring to the East Sea-related issues, the PM said that maintaining peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea was a common benefit to all and a big concern for ASEAN member nations as well as other countries in the region. Regional countries have worked out cooperation agreements and mechanisms aimed at ensuring peace, stability and cooperation in the region, including the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

The DOC is an important document signed between the ASEAN and China , aimed at promoting trust building and cooperation and all the concerned parties pledged to observe and accelerate the implementation of the commitment.

ASEAN and Chinese officials agreed to soon hold a meeting to discuss measures to speed up the deployment of the DOC. “I believe that with the goodwill of all parties and for the interest of the whole region, the concerned parties will continue to abide by and implement the DOC as well as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, thereby helping to maintain peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea,” PM Dung noted.

Asked about his recent visit to Myanmar , the government leader said, as ASEAN members and neighbours, ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular always care and follow the construction and development of Myanmar .

At this summit, Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein shared recent developments in Myanmar and talked about the country’s preparations for general elections scheduled to be held in 2010, he said.

During the visit to Myanmar, in addition to seeking ways of stepping up bilateral cooperation, PM Dung, in his capacity as Chair of ASEAN 2010, conveyed the bloc’s message to the Myanmar government and people that the group wants Myanmar to effectively deploy its roadmap to democracy for national peace and reconciliation and hold fair and democratic elections with the participation of all parties.

At the 16 th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN countries confirmed their support for Myanmar’s regional and international integration, and promised to assist Myanmar if it requests, based on the spirit of the ASEAN Charter, said PM Dung./.