Maritime security seen as part of agenda in US-Asean Summit

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Manila Bulletin reported that maritime security is expected to be an important part of the discussion during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)- United States Leaders’ Summit to be held at Sunnylands, California this week.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Colomo said in a radio interview on Sunday that based on the discussions during the Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur last November, US President Barack Obama will probably initiate a dialogue with Asean leaders on maters concerning maritime security.

Coloma noted that the goal of achieving Asean economic integration through the Asean economic community, as well as the US initiative on establishing a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to promote free trade in the Asia Pacific region may be enhanced through more vigorous trades that, in turn, must be assured by freedom of navigation in the main navigational routes of global trade and commerce including the South China Sea.

Several Asean member states, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, are currently embroiled in a heated territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea.

Coloma said President Aquino has always represented the Philippines’ position on the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as adherence to international law.