ASEAN foreign ministers adopt joint communique

ASEAN foreign ministers adopt joint communique
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi gestures as he arrives at a China ministerial meeting at the 48th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 5, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - ASEAN foreign ministers have agreed on a concluding statement at the end of their annual meeting here after days of disagreement over the language on the South China Sea dispute.

It is learnt that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will announce at the end of today's session the adoption of the 48th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting joint communique.

"We have adopted the joint communique already. It will be announced at the closing ceremony," said an official on Thursday.

Officials said there were some problems to agree on a "comfortable language" to reflect developments in South China Sea.

ASEAN foreign ministers failed to issue a joint communique their meeting three years ago in Cambodia.

The Philippines and Vietnam then wanted ASEAN to resist Beijing's insistence that the disputes be handled on a bilateral level only.

The Philippines had also accused Cambodia, a close ally of China, of blocking any mention of the dispute.

The South China Sea is being claimed by four ASEAN members, China and Taiwan and it has been hotly debated at ASEAN meetings as China is being accused of flexing its muscle in the area.

ASEAN and China have agreed to work on a Code of Conduct to maintain peace and stability but it has been a slow process.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday has claimed it had stopped reclamation work in the area.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.