by Staff Writers
Phnom Penh (AFP) April 2, 2012
Southeast Asian foreign ministers wrangled Monday over a proposed code of conduct aimed at easing dangerous maritime disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.
But Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Cambodia said they still hoped to narrow their differences and sign the code with China by the end of the year.
The Philippines is urging its ASEAN counterparts to first agree on a common position before meeting with China, but others argued Beijing should be involved from the start, diplomatic sources said.
"I think the difference of opinion lies in the fact that we are advocating that a draft of the COC (code of conduct) be prepared before we sit down with China," Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in Phnom Penh.
"Others are taking the view that China should be invited to come in for the initial discussion."
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said ASEAN should hear China's views before presenting Beijing with a draft code.
He said it was important to "listen and we hear what China's views are so that we can really develop a position that is cohesive and coherent".
During Indonesia's chairmanship of the regional bloc least year, ASEAN and China agreed on a set of guidelines for the proposed code, ending a nine-year impasse.
A senior Southeast Asian diplomat told AFP that countries were also divided on whether to include a dispute settlement mechanism in the code.
ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam along with China and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, a conduit for more than one-third of the world's seaborne trade and half its traffic in oil and gas.
The Philippines and Vietnam accuse China of aggressively asserting its claims in recent years, leading to minor clashes that diplomats and military commanders fear could quickly escalate into major conflicts.
"The Philippines hopes that the code of conduct will be a real 'move forward' not merely in terms of form, but more importantly in substance," del Rosario said.
Still, he said he hoped ASEAN and China would sign the code this year during Cambodia's chairmanship of the regional bloc.
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Kurds halt oil exports in payment row
Baghdad (AFP) April 1, 2012
Iraq's Kurdish region halted oil exports on Sunday after Baghdad's top energy official warned it to reconsider before following through on the threat over the government's non-payment of funds. The move by Kurdistan is the latest in a long-running row between Baghdad and Kurdish authorities in Arbil, who have squabbled over payments, revenue-sharing and the central government's refusal to re ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|