News / Asia

ASEAN FMs Avoid Controversy in Setting 2011 Summit Agenda

Foreign ministers of Japan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations hold a news conference after a special ASEAN-Japan ministerial meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia, April 9, 2011.
Foreign ministers of Japan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations hold a news conference after a special ASEAN-Japan ministerial meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia, April 9, 2011.

Southeast Asian nations will not discuss maritime border disputes when they meet later this year with their key dialogue partners, unless there are further clashes in disputed territory. Burma’s government also told regional foreign ministers that it is open to dialogue with opposition parties.

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Monday said they will address political and security issues when they meet later this year with partners in the East Asia Summit.

But Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says one of the most contentious issues raised last year, the South China Sea, is off the agenda.

China lays claim to most of the sea, including areas that Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam also claim.

China and Vietnam have fought over tiny islands in the disputed territory and Beijing’s navy has been increasingly assertive in the area, believed to be rich in oil and near critical sea lanes.

At the close of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting Monday, Natalegawa said some maritime issues will be discussed at the summit, but South China Sea dispute will stay off the table unless there were renewed clashes.

"Whether that maritime issues include South China Sea depends on where we are when the leaders meet," he said. "Hopefully, things are very quiet and very stable and therefore there is no need to bring the issue to the East Asia Summit."

The East Asia Summit brings together the 10 ASEAN nations, plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

At ASEAN meetings last year, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes is also in Washington’s interest, sparking a harsh response from China.

Russia and the United States attended the summit as observers last year but this year will be full participants.

Some ASEAN nations are want to make sure their agenda dominates the East Asia Summit, and that it not be pushed aside by the concerns of ASEAN’s powerful dialogue partners.

Natalegawa says ASEAN foreign ministers agreed Monday one way to do that would be to only discuss issues which they had a common position on or that were current events and could not be ignored.

They also discussed Burma’s development of democracy after a nominally civilian government in March replaced the military one.

He says Burma’s foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, told the meeting it was leaving the door open to communicate with “all elements” in the country, including democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"I had spoken on a number of occasions, not as ASEAN chair but as Indonesia, with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, on a number of occasions," said Natalegawa. "I know she is looking forward to having these communications with the new government in [Burma]. So, we would like to see if the new government is also of that view, then this communication ought to be taking place in real and not just in intentions."

Natalegawa also said the ASEAN ministers also discussed a deadly border dispute in February between Cambodia and Thailand when their militaries exchanged artillery and machine gun fire, killing several people on both sides.

Indonesia, as ASEAN chair, brokered an agreement to send observers to the disputed area to monitor an informal ceasefire.

But Natalegawa said Monday the deployment of observers has been delayed by disagreement over which areas they should be allowed to monitor.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid