India, Indonesia back freedom of navigation in South China Sea

July 27th, 2012 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Against the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in southeast Asia, India and Indonesia discussed tensions in the South China Sea and backed freedom of navigation and regional peace.

The situation in the South China Sea was among a cluster of regional and international issues that was discussed between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Indonesian counterpart Marty M. Natalegawa.

At a joint press interaction, Krishna underlined the need for freedom of navigation in international waters.

Responding to a question, he asked all parties concerned to resolve the issue through dialogue.

In an oblique reference to China, Natalegawa said that although there were countries growing in the region, the growth should be “conducive” to the region’s peace and security.

He added that the ASEAN countries were continuing with efforts to come out with a code of conduct for the South China Sea after a failed attempt at the recent ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

South China Sea has been a point of tensions between China and ASEAN countries over territorial disputes. India has consistently supported freedom of navigation and access to resources in the region in accordance with principles of international law.

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