SINAGPORE: Singapore welcomes the release of the ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement on "ASEAN’s Six—Point Principles on the South China Sea".
The Ministry of Foreigh Affairs (MFA) said on Friday that the statement was the result of the unceasing efforts of Indonesia.
MFA said this goes some way to repair the damage caused by the failure of the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) to release the joint communique and helps to restore ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture.
The ministry said Singapore and other like—minded ASEAN member states had tried very hard to negotiate a consensus during the 45th AMM on what should be said about the South China Sea issues.
It said some of the proposals put forward last week during the 45th AMM, and supported by several ASEAN member states, were broadly similar to the statement which has now been accepted by all ASEAN member states.
MFA said it was glad that a week later, there is new consensus and the statement has been issued.
The regional grouping had been trying to find common ground to resolve disputes in the South China Sea.
Responding to media queries, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry says Singapore was not one of the states that had taken the position that it was absolutely necessary for the Scarborough Shoal to be specifically mentioned in the joint communique at the end of the ASEAN ministerial meeting in Cambodia.
It added that as previously mentioned, several ASEAN members had tried to negotiate a consensus on the South China Sea paragraph in the joint communique.
Singapore as well as other members had made various proposals which did not refer specifically to Scarborough Shoal or other geographical features.
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