Yudhoyono: Overlapping claims in South China Sea must be managed


Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said overlapping claims by a number of countries in South China Sea must be managed well so that the problem will not escalate negatively.

“Countries in the region must help those who have overlapping claims so that they can manage their differences well and tension in the region remains low,” he said in a journal launch here on Tuesday.

He said it was under that corridor that cooperation framework has been made between ASEAN member countries and China to produce code of conduct and code of ethics in the South China Sea for those countries.

“That would promote certainty and help regional stability needed by the region,” he said.

At a press conference on Monday President Yudhoyono expressed his disappointment over the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Cambodia recently that had failed to produce a communique or a joint statement on the South China Sea issue.

“Frankly speaking as one of the ASEAN leaders I was disappointed and concerned,” he told to newsmen at his office.

China and several ASEAN members namely the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have overlapping claims over their sovereignty on South China Sea.

Yudhoyono said the failure which was the first in the ASEAN history could worsen the reputation of the association of Southeast Asian nations.

He said the incident could hurt ASEAN`s reputation and the international community could think that division has occurred in the organization.

“How complicated a problem is a compromise should have been found on it,” he said.

President Yudhoyono said the South China Sea issue will certainly come up again when ASEAN leaders meet with leaders of the ASEAN partners in November this year in Cambodia.

He hoped every country could discuss the problem peacefully and with a clear mind. Every country must orient itself to achieving an agreement every time they discuss a conflict, he added.

He said Indonesia would continue to take an active role to create peace in the region.

The role was also played when Indonesia held the ASEAN chairmanship in 2011. At the time Indonesia could lead a series of discussions to find solutions over problems in Myanmar and border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand.(*)






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