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06/08/2015: SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO, SECRETARY KERRY REAFFIRM OPPOSITION TO RECLAMATION, CONSTRUCTION ON SOUTH CHINA SEA FEATURES

From the Department of Foreign Affairs

6 August 2015 – Secretary Albert F. del Rosario and US Secretary of State John F. Kerry met on the sidelines of the 48th ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in Kuala Lumpur to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

The Secretaries reaffirmed the commitment of their respective countries to the resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with the rule of law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. They discussed the progress on the arbitration case filed by the Philippines, and agreed on the need for all claimant states to behave responsibly and avoid further aggressive unilateral action.

Recognizing the shared regional challenges, they also discussed new areas and initiatives for defense and security cooperation, which in recent years have focused on maritime security and maritime domain awareness. They reaffirmed the view that the early implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will underscore the strength and relevance of the treaty alliance. They also agreed on the need to reconvene the Philippines-Unites States 2 + 2 Ministerial Consultations at the soonest possible time, to move forward a more robust security agenda.

The US is one of ASEAN's Dialogue Partners and a member of the East Asia Summit. END