Vietnam highlights significance of ASEAN – US ties hinh anh 1At the event (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh shared ASEAN member states’ stance on the significance of the ASEAN – US strategic partnership at the ASEAN – US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 1.

The Deputy PM affirmed Vietnam will work closely with other ASEAN countries to push forward ASEAN – US practical ties, especially in trade and investment, technological innovation, adaptation with the fourth industrial revolution, energy and infrastructure.

Expressing concern over complicated developments in the East Sea, he stressed the importance of strengthening trust, exercising self-restraint and refraining from actions that could complicate the situation and violate sovereignty and legitimate interests of coastal countries. Vietnam’s representative also underlined the need for non-militarisation, no use of force or threat to use force, and adherence to international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), towards early reaching an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

Laos’s Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, coordinator of ASEAN – US ties, affirmed that the US and ASEAN will continue reinforcing mutually-beneficial ties for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Both sides agreed to step up trade, investment, development cooperation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperation at sea, cyber security, the fight against terrorism and extremist violence, good governance, digital connectivity, smart city development, energy, education, people-to-people exchange, and Greater Mekong Sub-region collaboration.

On the East Sea issue, the ministers acknowledged recent progress in the negotiations for the COC while voicing deep concern about developments in the waters including militarization and unilateral acts that run counter to international law and undermine trust, thus causing negative impacts on peace, stability and security in the region.

The ministers highlighted the importance of fostering trust building, abiding by international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards concluding an effective and efficient COC in accordance with international law.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that the US is always a friend and trustworthy partner of ASEAN, and supports ASEAN’s efforts to maintain regional peace, security and stability.

He stated that regional countries should raise a firm voice and not ignore complicated issues.-VNA