Asean calls for peaceful resolutions to Palestine, Korean Peninsula issues
Danial Norjidi

ASEAN leaders yesterday called for peaceful resolutions to situations in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula while speaking on regional and international issues.

In the Chairman’s Statement of the 22nd Asean Summit, on the topic of the situation in the Middle East, the leaders reaffirmed their support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people for an independent state of Palestine and a two-state solution where both countries and peoples can live side by side in peace.

“We called on all parties to make efforts for the resumption of peace talks and remove obstacles related thereto, in particular the construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” reads the statement.

The leaders also expressed concern over the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula.

“We encouraged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and to its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.”

The leaders also reaffirmed their full support for all efforts to bring about the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, as well as the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Also emphasised by the leaders in the statement is the importance of dialogue aimed at promoting mutual understanding and confidence among all parties concerned with ensuring peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Another area of discussion was Timor-Leste’s Official Application for Asean membership, on which the statement reads, “We were encouraged by the progress in discussions of the Asean Coordinating Council (ACC) and the ACC Working Group (ACCWG), on all relevant aspects related to the application by Timor-Leste, as well as its possible implications on Asean.”

On this, the leaders have agreed to explore the possibility of Timor-Leste’s participation in Asean activities within the context of its need for capacity building.

External relations is another area covered in the statement, under which the leaders reiterated the importance of Asean’s central role in the evolving regional architecture and reaffirmed their commitment to work closely with all their partners through various Asean-led mechanisms, including the Asean Plus One, Asean Plus Three, Asean Regional Forum, ADMM-Plus and East Asia Summit (EAS).

The leaders also welcomed interest from their external partners to enhance their cooperation with Asean and in this regard, have tasked their ministers to continue their work on reviewing mechanisms for engaging these external partners.

Satisfied with the progress of Asean’s relations with its dialogue partners and external parties, the leaders encouraged their ministers to further enhance these relations through Asean’s various mechanisms to ensure the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. - Borneo Bulletin (26 April 2013)