Vietnam welcomes the president`s offer."
Nay Pyi Taw (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had offered his assistance to Vietnam in facilitating communication with China relating to the latest development in the South China Sea issue.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa made the remarks after accompanying President Yudhoyono in his bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Summit here on Sunday (May 11).

"Vietnam welcomes the presidents offer. Earlier in the meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister has been instructed to immediately contact the Chinas Foreign Minister to express concern and hope that this problem can be well managed and prevent it from developing into a larger crisis," Marty said, referring to collision incidence between China and Vietnam ships in the disputed region.

Marty said that President Yudhoyono in the bilateral meeting reiterated Indonesian concern over the developing situation in the South China Sea.

The minister believed that tensions in the region cannot be simply resolved through the use of force and violence.

"On the contrary it needs peaceful settlement according to the principles in the Code of Conduct (COC)," he pointed out.

Earlier in the retreat forum of the 24th ASEAN Summit, the president also underlined the fact that the rise of China is an opportunity for ASEAN, and is not something that should be seen as a challenge.

"We have the same commitment to the situation in the East Sea and South China Sea, as well as the peaceful handling. Whatever must be resolved politically peaceful and avoid the use of military force," the president said.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung claimed that now nearly 83 Chinese ships overseeing oil and gas drilling activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of Vietnam, Marty said.

(Reporting by GNC Aryani/B003)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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