Sunday, September 09, 2012

Singapore backs Phl on Spratly issue

Singapore is fully behind the Philippines in its claim over the Spratly islands that is being contested by economic and military giant China and four other neighboring countries, a top Philippine diplomat said here yesterday.

“President Aquino had to express his gratitude for the very strong support that Singapore has given the Philippines in terms of its position in the West Philippine Sea,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told newsmen in a briefing here.

Del Rosario, along with several other members of the Cabinet, joined Aquino’s bilateral meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who, like other world leaders, attended this year’s 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit here in Russia.

“Singapore has committed to continue its support in terms of a peaceful resolution of the disputes in accordance with international law including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” Del Rosario said. 

The Singaporean leader also highlighted the need for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – to which both countries belong – “to strengthen its solidarity and its centrality in being able to reinforce the importance of ASEAN being an entity that would promote peace and stability in the region.”

Aside from the Philippines and China, other claimant-countries in the Spratly Islands – believed to be rich in oil and natural gas – are Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan. -The Philippine Star (September 09, 2012 12:00AM)

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