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|Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam's ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi - Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam's ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung attended the 34th ASEAN-US Dialogue held in the form of videoconference on May 6.
Speaking on behalf of ASEAN states, the Vietnamese official emphasised that amid increasing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, competition for natural resources and sovereignty claims, countries need to bolster cooperation and dialogue, build trust and the rule of law, as well as uphold the sense of responsibility, behave according to standards and respect each other to ensure an environment of peace and stability for development.
Highlighting efforts by ASEAN and the US in addressing challenges to regional stability and development, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam said ASEAN and the US should strengthen coordination to ensure peace, security and prosperous development in the region through ASEAN-led mechanisms, promote a rules-based regional order and adherence to international laws, and resolve disputes in a peaceful manner.
Dung also reiterated ASEAN’s principled stance in the East Sea issue, and voiced a hope that the US will continue to play a constructive role and back ASEAN’s efforts in building the East Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, as well as the bloc’s role in helping Myanmar.
For his part, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Atul Keshap affirmed that US President Joe Biden’s administration attaches importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN, supports ASEAN’s central role and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), and wants to enhance cooperation with the organisation in settling current challenges.
ASEAN countries spoke highly of the US’s contributions to cooperation, development, peace and stability in the region. They appreciated an aid worth 112 million USD from the US to help the organisation cope with COVID-19.
The two sides agreed to foster collaboration in trade-investment, human resources development, renewable energy, marine cooperation, response to natural disasters and climate change through the US's development cooperation programmes such as the Partnership for Regional Optimisation within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT), the Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE), and in development gap reduction via the Mekong-US Partnership.
ASEAN and the US affirmed to closely coordinate to contribute to maintaining peace, safety and stability in the region, including maritime security and safety in the East Sea, which is among major shipping routes of the world with potential risks and complicated developments.
The US underlined its support for ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue; welcomed the bloc to perform its role in promoting cooperation, dialogues, and trust building; ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the building of an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.
Regarding the Myanmar issue, the US welcomed outcomes of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting held on April 24, expressing its support for ASEAN in fostering dialogues and reconciliation to help Myanmar stabilise the situation.