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AMM 53: Cambodia reiterates stance for peaceful solution on Bien Dong Sea issue

16:33 | 14/09/2020

“Cambodia encourages all parties, especially those directly concerned, to fully and effectively implement the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) because it is a way to reinforce trust and confidence.” stated Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, reported the khmertimeskh.

amm 53 cambodia reiterates stance for peaceful solution on bien dong sea issue
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn (centre) at the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (Source: information.gov.kh)

Cambodia has called for related parties in the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) to find peaceful solutions and apply international law.

He said: “Cambodia encourages all parties, especially those directly concerned, to fully and effectively implement the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) because it is a way to reinforce trust and confidence.”

Sokhonn said it is important to continue a dialogue and for parties to seek peaceful resolution over disputes in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982.

The statement was part of a press release issued by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on September 12 on the outcomes of the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), as part of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM 53) and Related Meetings that took place from September 9 – 12.

According to the ministry’s press release on the outcomes of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 53) and Related Meetings held via video conference on September 9-12, in his speech at the events, Prak Sokhonn underlined that amidst the escalating tensions between major powers and challenges for multilateralism, ASEAN needs to firmly uphold the spirit of the bloc’s unity and neutrality to exercise the ASEAN Way principles.

He said the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) will have a new Executive Director in mid-October, and spoke highly of Vietnam’s initiative to set up the “Friends of ARMAC” group so as to mobilise more support for the centre, according to the khmertimeskh.

amm 53 cambodia reiterates stance for peaceful solution on bien dong sea issue
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn. mfaic.gov

According to the release, the official stressed two major security challenges, namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the big powers rivalries and unilateral disengagement from international commitments at a time the world needs more galvanised efforts.

Regarding the 27th ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting, Prak Sokhonn laid stress on the important role of the foreign partners in mobilising support for the ASEAN’s newly established COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as coordination of the regional health organisations.

He recalled the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Statement on the Importance of Maintaining Peace and Stability in Southeast Asia that expressed a strong desire to maintain regional peace, security, stability and neutrality.

He also expressed Cambodia’s support for international efforts to achieve a peaceful, complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation in the Korean peninsula, in particular through the ARF.

“Cambodia’s constitutional principles of permanent neutrality and non-alignment do not allow Cambodia to host any foreign military bases or join any military alliance or treaty,” Sokhonn added.

Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute director Kin Phea told Khmer Times yesterday that Cambodia’s unchanged position shows its’ desire to see all the relevant parties find a solution diplomatically and peacefully. They wish to see dispute negotiations made as soon as possible based on the DOC.

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