Asean ministers call on sea claimants to avoid militarization in communique

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Asean ministers call on sea claimants to avoid militarization in communique

Japan's foreign minister said "heated discussions" took place about North Korea's missile tests and South China Sea disputes at a security forum on Monday, and most countries believed United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang should be fully implemented.

From the Indian perspective, ASEAN occupied a central place in the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region, Singh said while speaking at the 15th meeting of ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers in Manila.

Southeast Asian foreign ministers ended an impasse on Sunday over how to address disputes with China in the South China Sea, issuing a communique that called for militarization to be avoided and noting concern about island-building.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China should establish a set of rules that were "legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with global law", the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a statement following a meeting in Manila.

The sanctions resolution, which China and Russian Federation voted for, was the seventh the Security Council has imposed on North Korea since 2006, when the country carried out its first nuclear test.

Alarm over North Korea's missile tests, a tentative step to temper South China Sea disputes, and unease over a disastrous siege by pro-Islamic State group militants, will grab the spotlight at the annual meetings of Southeast Asia's top diplomats and their Asian and Western counterparts.

India is marking the 25th anniversary of its relations with the ASEAN - a regional intergovernmental grouping consisting of 10 countries from south-east Asia, which promotes cooperation between the members and facilitates political, economic, military, cultural and educational integration among the member countries and other Asian nations.

Wang said at a news conference in Manila that those three conditions include non-interference by "outside parties", obviously referring to the United States, which Beijing has frequently accused of meddling in the territorial disputes.

Cambodia wanted its sentiments on the Korean Peninsula better reflected in the ASEAN foreign ministers' joint communique, stalling its issuance Saturday after the ministers concluded their meeting, the diplomat said, adding that Cambodia's stance may have been influenced by China. But experts say China will not allow that and ASEAN may end up acquiescing to what amounts to a gentlemen's agreement.

Both diplomats spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issues publicly.

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