Marty, Hillary discuss RI-US bilateral relations, South China Sea issue

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa here on Monday met with US State Secretary Hillary Clinton discussing bilateral relations and the South China Sea issue.

"Today`s meeting represents the strong and comprehensive relations that Indonesia and the US have during the past years. We discuss bilateral matters such as cooperation in economy, development, social, culture, education, security and politics," Minister Marty Natalegawa said here on Monday at a joint press conference with US State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Marty added both sides also discussed regional issues such as the South China Sea dispute and relations between ASEAN and the US.

"Both sides agree that the dispute in South China Sea needs to be solved peacefully using diplomatic approach and based on the principle of international law and the law of the sea. We both also agree that there need to be a development in the process of making the Code of Conduct at the South China Sea involving related parties," said Marty.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated it is extremely important for ASEAN and China to finalize the Code of Conduct in South China Sea and refrain themselves from conducting any steps that will increase tension in the disputed area.

"The East Asia Summit which will be held next November in Pnom Penh will be the chance for ASEAN and China to obtain agreement on South China Sea," she said adding that it is time for the related parties to calm the water and encourage people to make improvement on the handling of the issue.

The US Secretary of State has scheduled a two-day visit to Jakarta, as she arrived on Monday and is scheduled to meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday (Sept 4). (A051/YH)