PHL, Malaysia agree on peaceful resolution of territorial row

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Friday, February 28, 2014

THE Philippines and Malaysia have agreed to push for the peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea, President Benigno Aquino III said Friday.

Aquino, who is on a state visit to Malaysia, said he discussed with his Malaysian counterpart, Prime Minister Najib Razak, the issue on the West Philippine Sea during their bilateral meeting.

"The Prime Minister and I agreed on the peaceful settlement of disputes in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, in accordance with the rule of law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). We believe that adherence to the rule of law, positive engagement and sincere dialogue are fundamental if we are to build a truly prosperous and peaceful South East Asia– a South East Asia where no one is left behind," he said during the joint press conference with Najib.

The Philippines, Malaysia and China are among those claimant countries in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

Aquino also thanked Malaysia for its help on the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"I look forward to welcoming Your Excellency in Manila for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)," he said.

The government and the MILF are expected to sign the CAB this coming March in Manila.

Aquino and Najib also witnessed the signing of several agreements, such as on cultural cooperation and education cooperation.

"In terms of ensuring the safety of our peoples, the Prime Minister and I reviewed the many aspects of our defense relations, particularly the education and training exchanges between our armed forces and defense officials, as well as our continued joint training activities and intelligence exchanges," the President said.

Aquino and the members of his delegation will return to Manila early Saturday. (SDR/Sunnex)

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