President Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a talk on the delineation of maritime boundaries on the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Indonesia.
“This has something to do with delineation of our boundaries. And I told him that in due time, but we will take a longer period for we have to establish even our continental shelf limits,” Duterte said in his arrival speech at the Davao International Airport late Thursday night.
The Philippines and Vietnam have maritime and island claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea which is said to be rich in oil and natural gas deposits. Other claimant countries are China, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Duterte and Phuc have committed to work closely in achieving progress and stability in the region.
“We both committed to work more closely to achieve shared goals for stability in the region,” Duterte said.
At the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, Duterte called on his fellow leaders to confront all the challenges “head on” to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“The Philippines remains committed to work closely with ASEAN and key global institutions to ensure a peaceful, secure and stable environment that promotes the greater common good,” he said.
Duterte also had a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo where he personally conveyed his condolences to those who suffered due to the successive earthquakes and tsunami.
“In times of need, Indonesia was ready to help. Now, we are giving back. That’s the ASEAN way. That’s our duty as brother and a neighbor,” he said.
Duterte said Widodo welcomed the humble assistance that the Philippines coursed through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Thursday led the symbolic handover of the USD500,000 (P27 million) in cash and in-kind humanitarian assistance consisting of generators, water and medical kits to Indonesia.
Duterte assured Widodo that the ASEAN stands with the people of Indonesia in responding to disasters.#