Vietnam, Indonesia discuss East Sea issues

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Indonesia believes it can count on Vietnam as a strong partner to maintain the central role of ASEAN in East Sea issues, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in Hanoi Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference, he said Vietnam and Indonesia were the two countries that always spoke for peace and prosperity in the region.

Earlier the same day Natalegawa and his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, held the first meeting of the Vietnam-Indonesia Committee for Bilateral Cooperation. 

The two sides reviewed implementation of the Vietnam-Indonesia Action Program for 2012-15, especially in the areas of politics, security-defense, economics, trade and investment.

Minh said they had in-depth discussions about bilateral cooperation as well as cooperation among ASEAN countries and the central role of ASEAN in the region's issues.

The two ministers emphasized the need for peace, stability, maritime security, and safety in the East Sea, respect for international laws and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, full implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and advancing towards drawing up a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

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Minh said the two countries had agreed to soon set up a mechanism for joint patrol in adjacent waters and a communication channel.

He said ASEAN members have reached preliminary agreement on the components of the COC, and are waiting for China to indicate when it would sign it.

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