New Vietnam PM praises G7 statement, discusses East Sea issue with U.K. foreign secretary

By Toan Dao   April 12, 2016 | 04:14 pm GMT+7
New Vietnam PM praises G7 statement, discusses East Sea issue with U.K. foreign secretary
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Photo: VGP News

Vietnam’s newly elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has spoken highly of the G7 statement referring to the East Sea and asked the United Kingdom to speak more on the issue.

Phuc made the statement while meeting Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Hanoi on Tuesday, according to a statement on the Vietnamese government website.

Foreign ministers of the G7, a group that excludes China, on Monday issued a statement on maritime territorial disputes, saying they opposed "any intimidating coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions”. The statement has been met with anger from China.

“Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praises the statement referring to the East Sea issue from G7 foreign ministers meeting in Hiroshima, which serves the common goal of ensuring freedom of navigation and keeping [parties] from implementing actions that may cause tension in the region and go against international law,” the Vietnamese statement said.

Phuc asked the U.K. and E.U. to speak strongly, asking claimants in the East Sea to respect international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; use peaceful means to settle disputes; refrain from using force and threatening to use force; stop any activity, especially the construction of artificial islands and militarization in the East Sea, that aims to alter the status quo in the East Sea; fully conform with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; and actively take part in negotiations to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Hammond, while re-affirming the statement on the East Sea issued by G7 foreign ministers, expressed support for ASEAN's efforts to form a Code of Conduct in the East Sea to ensure freedom of navigation in the region. He also said he hoped relevant parties would use peaceful means to settle disputes and conform to international law, according to the Vietnamese government.

 
 
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