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Vietnam, Philippines talk maritime, ocean concerns in 10th meeting

By VNA 05/18/2023 17:00 |

Hanoi, May 18 (VNA) - The 10th meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC) took place in Ha Long City, the northern province of Quang Ninh on May 15-16.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Nguyen Manh Dong, Vice Chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s National Boundary Commission, while the Philippine delegation was headed by Maria Angela A. Ponce, Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs under the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

During the meeting, both sides reviewed the implementation of cooperation agreements reached at the ninth meeting in November 2021 and
acknowledged that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been promoting bilateral cooperation in areas such as maritime security, fisheries, marine scientific research, environmental protection, hydrometeorology, and working closely together at regional and global forums. They agreed to further deepen bilateral maritime cooperation in the coming time.

On the East Sea issue, they agreed that maritime cooperation not only strengthens the strategic partnership between the two countries but also
contributes to peace, stability and order in the region.

Expressing concerns over recent unilateral actions that violate sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction of coastal states enshrined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they reaffirmed the importance of abiding by international law, particularly the UNCLOS, and the ASEAN’s central role and stance on the East Sea in maintaining peace, stability and settling disputes by peaceful means.

Established in 2004, the maritime cooperation mechanism between Vietnam and the Philippines has always been considered one of the pillars of bilateral relationship. It plays a crucial role in enhancing the strategic partnership, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of each country in the East Sea, promoting peace, stability in the region and consolidating ASEAN solidarity./.