Vietnam “regrets” that a Southeast Asian regional meeting of foreign ministers failed to agree on a concluding joint statement, the top Vietnamese diplomat at the event said Friday.
Pham Quang Vinh, Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of the Vietnamese delegation, said the joint statement is expected to reflect the process of discussion and outcomes reached in meetings of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and between ASEAN and its partners.
During the discussion of the joint statement, the ASEAN delegations exerted efforts to find out the most suitable formulas to reflect the common interest of the member nations, and had many chances to reach a consensus and unanimity, Vinh said.
However, he said, it is regrettable that the opportunities to reach a consensus were missed.
But whether the joint statement is issued or not, the existing ASEAN decisions still have to be strictly implemented, he said.
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“More than ever, ASEAN countries should uphold their responsibility, maintain and strengthen the ASEAN solidarity, and bring into play the group’s key role in and contributions to prioritized and essential issues of ASEAN and the region,” the Vietnam News Agency quoted Vinh as saying.
The Philippines, which wanted the joint communiqué to acknowledge that ASEAN foreign ministers discussed the standoff between Philippines and China in Scarborough Shoal, said the same day it ASEAN's failure to issue the statement.