Vietnam hails Indonesia for East Sea initiative

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Vietnamese Minister of Foreign affairs Pham Binh Minh has hailed his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa for taking the initiative to expand ASEAN's role in the East (South China) Sea dispute.

He was speaking following a visit by Natalegawa to Hanoi Wednesday.

The Indonesian minister proposed six basic principles for the East Sea: full implementation of the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea; full support for DOC guidelines; an early conclusion of the Regional Code of Conduct on the South China Sea; full respect for universally recognized principles international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; the continued exercise of self-restraint and no use of force; and peaceful resolution of conflicts in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The two ministers agreed to strengthen the central role of ASEAN in the region.

Minh hailed the contributions by Indonesia and Natalegawa and said Vietnam would cooperate closely with Indonesia to facilitate creation of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

The two ministers agreed that the East Sea is a common interest of ASEAN and the region.

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Natalegawa Wednesday began a tour of Southeast Asia in a bid to restore ASEAN's credibility and seek a common position on the East Sea (also called the South China Sea) after its summit in Cambodia last week failed to produce a joint communiqué for the first time ever. 

ASEAN (Association for South East Asian Nations) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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