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Sat, 09 Aug 2014 21:32:03 +0000
(NAYPYITAW, Myanmar) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Southeast Asian foreign ministers Saturday, calling on nations with claims to the South China Sea to refrain from provocative actions.
Addressing representatives at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Kerry put forth the proposal to ease tensions over the maritime dispute. The Secretary of State urged China and its smaller neighbors to halt actions related to the conflict.
"We're encouraging claimant states to consider voluntarily agreeing to refrain from taking certain actions, which in the words of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct 'would complicate or escalate disputes'," he said.
"The United States and ASEAN have a common responsibility to ensure the maritime security of critical global sea lanes and ports. We need to work together to manage tensions in the South China Sea and to manage them peacefully."
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