DFA chief makes the rounds in Asia amid sea row

Posted at 07/17/14 12:43 PM

MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario has visited three ASEAN countries in the last 14 days as the Philippines seeks to increase cooperation in view of the tensions at sea.

Del Rosario visited Jakarta, Indonesia on July 15, Brunei last July 10, and Vietnam on July 2.

In his separate trips to the three countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief exchanged views with his counterparts on the current situation in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In separate instances, the foreign ministers affirmed their commitment to work towards the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. They also discussed the early conclusion of a regional code of conduct and the de-escalation of rising tensions there.

Del Rosario also briefed Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. R.M. Marty Natalegawa, H.R.H. Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh about the country’s progress in the arbitration case it filed against China.

The different foreign ministers affirmed the role of the ASEAN in promoting regional peace and stability.

China has snubbed the case filed by the Philippines, saying that the situation can best be resolved via a bilateral approach.

Several world powers, including the US, have been urging China to stop its provocative behavior in the disputed waters.

China slammed the US anew this week, saying it should stay out of the issue.