by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Oct 26, 2011
Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang pressed for a "zone of peace" in the hotly disputed South China Sea, at a joint news conference on Wednesday.
The Philippine president said he and his Vietnamese counterpart "reaffirmed the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime safety and security in the region".
Sang, speaking with Aquino at a joint news conference during a state visit, said his country supported Philippine calls for settling the disputes through international law and the creation of a "zone of peace" in the South China Sea.
The two Southeast Asian countries have overlapping claims on the Spratly Islands along with Brunei, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan that have caused rising tensions in the reputedly resources-rich waters that host key shipping lanes.
Amid the tensions, Aquino has been trying to get Southeast Asian neighbours to form a united front against China's sovereignty claim on all of the sea, including waters lapping the coasts of some of these other countries.
The Philippines has accused the Chinese military of aggressive acts in the Philippine-claimed areas of the South China Sea this year, including firing on Filipino fishermen, laying buoys and harassing an oil exploration vessel.
"We agreed that a rules-based approach, adhering to international law... is essential to the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of these issues through multilateral dialogue and consultations," Aquino said.
He said he and Sang also stressed that a 2002 declaration by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations members plus China on the conduct of the parties to the South China Sea dispute should be fully implemented.
Spratly claimants Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, along with Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand make up the ASEAN.
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BP says reaches turning point, 18 months after oil disaster
London (AFP) Oct 25, 2011
BP surged back into profit in the first nine months of the year, it said Tuesday, declaring that it has now reached a "clear turning point" after the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in April 2010. The energy major added it will sell another $15 billion of non-core assets by 2013, expanding its divestment programme to $45 billion, as it seeks to recover oil spill-related costs and re- ... read more
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