Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has hailed the outcomes of the 46 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-46) and related meetings in Brunei’s capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, from June 29 - July 2.

The Foreign Minister told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in an interview that the meetings reviewed and proposed solutions for the implementation of ASE AN cooperation priorities within the bloc and in external relations, with the focus on keeping ASEAN Community building on schedule.

They discussed strengthening regional connectivity in parallel with enhancing relations with ASEAN partners, and exchanged regional and international issues of common concern.

The AMM-46 Joint Communiqué, agreed upon by ASE AN countries, not only maps out the regional grouping’s prioritised orientations until 2015, but the vision and development process over the next decades.

Minister Minh said the meetings took place in the context of great opportunities for regional peace, stability and development cooperation despite concurrent security and economic challenges.

Most importantly, ASEAN will continue to maintain and strengthen its solidarity and unity on internal and external issues as well as regional and international issues of common concern.

ASEAN will also reinforce and deepen its ties with partners, hailing their participation in regional connectivity, actively contributing to common goals of regional peace, stability and development, and the building of an ASEAN Community.

All partners backed ASEAN’s central role in dealing with regional issues as well as in the frameworks of ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) among others.

The FM said the East Sea issue involved many concerned parties at the meetings. They all attached importance to peace, security, safety and free navigation in the East Sea .

Seeing many complicated developments in the East Sea, almost all participants suggested relevant parties refrain from using or threatening to use force, settle disputes by peaceful means and implement reached commitments in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Regional countries and partners emphasised the need to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), hailing a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) COC exchange agreed upon by ASEAN and China, towards a COC reached by the two sides.

Referring to Vietnam’s contributions to the success of the meetings, FM Minh said Vietnam affirmed that ASE AN Community building is a central task of the grouping, and stressed the importance of solidarity within the bloc and its central role in regional peace, security and development.

Vietnam has also made positive contributions to promoting Mekong cooperation with partners including Japan , the Republic of Korea and the US in Mekong River water resource management and sustainable development.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Vietnam voices cooperation between ASEAN and China in the full and efficient implementation of DOC, to soon reach a COC as affirmed in the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of DOC, in order to defend maritime peace, stability and security in the East Sea .

Vietnam proposed solutions for strengthening trust-building and establishing an ASEAN-China hotline for issues at sea, emphasising the humane treatment of fishermen working at sea.

Vietnam praised ASEAN-China SOM-level official consultation on a COC, highlighting the need to soon reach the code, ensuring peace and security in the East Sea .

On the sidelines of the meetings, Vietnam held a series of bilateral talks to discuss cooperation and issues of common concern, FM Minh concluded.-VNA