Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh led the Vietnamese delegation to the fourth ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF-4) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from October 1-2.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said ASEAN needs to strengthen maritime cooperation for regional prosperity and stability.

It is urgent to seek measures for maritime security-related issues as trade activities between South and Southeast Asian economies greatly depend on sea routes on the Malacca Strait and the East Sea , he said.

The Malaysian Deputy FM called for ASEAN members’ cooperation to prevent and manage any possible crisis which may cause losses for the regional economy.

He also stressed the importance of maritime security and freedom, law enforcement, constructive dialogues and the peaceful resolution of sovereignty disputes in the East Sea in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Delegates at the forum, including ASEAN senior officials and maritime experts, discussed measures to build trust, ensure an environment of peace, stability and maritime security and safety in the region as well as how to cooperate at sea more effectively.

On the sidelines of the forum, Deputy FM Pham Quang Vinh told reporters that Vietnam participates in the event with the aim of promoting marine cooperation as well as contributing to regional peace and stability.

At the forum, Vietnam and other ASEAN members as well as other countries stressed the importance of abiding by international law, especially the UNCLOS and measures to maintain an environment of peace, stability and maritime security and safety in the region, considering them essential conditions for further enhancing cooperation at sea, he said.

Following the AMF-4, the second Expanded AMF with the attendance of eight dialogue partners, namely the US, Japan, China, Russia, India, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will be held in Kuala Lumpur on October 3.-VNA