Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Singapore reiterates neutrality in West Philippine Sea disputes

The Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Monday clarified that it remains neutral regarding West Philippine Sea territorial disputes.  

"There has been no change to Singapore's position. We do not take sides on the merits or otherwise of the various specific disputes in the South China Sea [West Philippine Sea],” said an unidentified MFA Spokesperson in the Ministry’s website, “Prime Minister Lee called on all claimants to exercise restraint and for disputes to be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law." 

According to the MFA, this position is contrary to what the Philippine Star and the Manila Bulletin reported Sunday.  The reports said Singapore supported the Philippine position during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s meeting with President Benigno Aquino during the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Russia last Saturday. 

The news items said Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario thanked Lee “for the very strong support that Singapore has given the Philippines in terms of its position in the West Philippine Sea.”

“We have seen the reports in question,” said the Singapore MFA spokesperson, “You all know how free the Filipino media is; they can even be very free with the facts.”

Aquino joined 20 other heads of state and government at the APEC summit, including China, with whom the Philippines is disputing territories in the West Philippine Sea.-GMA News (September 11, 2012  12:26AM)

No comments: