Iran has signed a friendship treaty with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in a move which could lead to broader economic cooperation between the Islamic Republic and the organization's member states.
Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told reporters at the forum that China welcomed, and was willing to work with, the U.S. to help with faster development and better security in the region.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho turned down a request for a formal bilateral meeting with her South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on the sidelines of an annual regional forum in Singapore on Friday, a South Korean government official said.
A code of conduct between Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to govern behavior in the strategic sea has been years in the making.
Meeting among themselves earlier, the ASEAN foreign ministers praised the completion of the draft.
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"Singapore and Asean stand ready to support our Laotian and Indonesian friends during this hard time", said Mr Lee.
SINGAPORE-The navies of China and Southeast Asia held their first maritime exercise this week, Singapore's defense ministry said on Friday, in an effort to widen cooperation and build trust as they negotiate a code of conduct on a disputed waterway.
Pompeo told reporters he had raised concerns at the meeting about Chinese militarisation of the South China Sea and the importance of maintaining a rules-based order in the region.
"We exchanged views with Minister for Foreign Affairs Bishop on further developing economic relations, cooperation in the fight against terrorist organizations and regional issues", Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
Organizers did not directly link the exercises to the territorial disputes, which escalated after China turned seven disputed reefs into man-made islands, including three with runways.
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Two other Southeast Asian diplomats told The Associated Press that China and ASEAN have agreed to keep details of the negotiations confidential, which would prevent outside parties like the US and Japan from intervening.
Mr Lee was glad that at a time when trade tensions between the USA and Asean's other dialogue partners including China, the European Union and Canada have escalated, Asean countries and six partners are redoubling efforts to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership this year. At the same time, each Asean member state is subject to different pulls and pressures from bigger powers. You have claimant and non-claimant states.
"A meeting of minds is essential to set the stage for the arduous road ahead", Tan said.
In using a term Asean leaders cite to stress that the region must be at the core of any initiative affecting it, Mr Pompeo noted that President Donald Trump attended Asean-led summits in Manila last November and Vice-President Mike Pence had also travelled to the region.
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