Aquino to attend Asean Summit in Myanmar next week

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will leave for Myanmar next week to attend the 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose on Wednesday said that Aquino will join other Southeast Asian leaders in Nay Pyi Taw on May 10-11.

During his attendance to the Summit, Jose said the President would again raise the need to immediately finish the Code of Conduct (COC) on South China Sea.

"I am sure the President will be bringing up this agenda item. I think he will be asking his fellow Asean leaders to work for the early conclusion of the COC," he said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

He said the Philippines was encouraged by the support of United States President Barack Obama for the claimant countries in South China Sea to come up with a COC. Obama visited Manila late last month.

But since September 2013, only three meetings have taken place with regard to the drafting of the document, Jose said.

"There have only been three meetings so far and I think we still have some way to go to be able to conclude the COC. But I think the Philippines, together with other Asean countries, are working hard towards the early conclusion of the COC," he said.

He expressed hope that China will move in the same pace in coming out with a COC.

Some Asean-member countries, such as the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as China and Taiwan, have been claiming partly or the entire South China Sea area believed to be rich in oil and other mineral resources.

"There is no deadline by which we want to conclude the COC," Jose said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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