Tuesday, November 20, 2012

President Obama reiterates US position on West Philippine Sea issue, Aquino says

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 20): President Obama reiterates US position on West Philippine Sea issue, Aquino says

Newly re-elected United States President Barack Obama reiterated America’s position with regards to the competing claims in the West Philippine Sea, saying that the US would not take sides on the issue but would want to ensure freedom of navigation and communication, as well as stability in the region. President Benigno S. Aquino III reiterated America's stand on the issue as he reported the details following his attendance at the 4th ASEAN- US Leaders’ Meeting at the Peace Palace here Monday evening. “Inulit naman ng Amerika kanina ...they won’t take sides with regards to the disputes but they do have an interest in freedom of navigation, freedom of communication, stability in the region,” the President told the members of the Philippine media in an interview at Sofitel Hotel. President Obama arrived in Cambodia Monday afternoon to attend the 4th ASEAN-US Leaders' Meeting and the 7th East Asia Summit. He flew to Phnom Penh after visiting Thailand and Myanmar in a three-day Asian nation trip from Nov. 17 to 20, expressing America’s renewed interest in the Southeast Asian region. Many ASEAN member-countries, including the Philippines proposed for the formalization of a dialogue to draft the code of conduct in the South China Sea, a guideline that will implement the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) agreed by the ASEAN and China in 2002, President Aquino said. The Chief Executive also expressed elation over the recent developments in the discussion on the West Philippine Sea, saying the momentum was already building up for the drafting of a COC that would set concrete rules among claimant countries.


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