30/04/2015 09:31 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

East Sea dispute among key regional issues: PM Lee

Singapore, April 2 9 (VNA) - The territorial dispute in the East Sea and terrorism are the two key issues that regional leaders must keep a watchful eye on, said Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon at the close of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Langkawi, Malaysia on April 27.

While discussions were centred on the progress of the ASEAN Community Blueprint and the region's post-2015 vision, Lee said the East Sea was on everyone's minds.

For the ASEAN Community to work and the regional economy to continue developing, the region needs to have a conducive environment for growth, the Singaporean PM said.

It was the first time Lee addressed recent developments in the East Sea.

He urged all parties to adhere to international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the conduct of activities in the East Sea and to ensure that rights to freedom of navigation and overflight are not jeopardised.

He said ASEAN has a role to "keep the temperature down".

He suggested leaders work together with China to expeditiously conclude a Code of Conduct (COC) to help prevent and manage incidents in the area.

On the topics of terrorism and the threat of Islamic State, Lee reiterated the need for member states to enhance cooperation in intelligence-sharing but stressed that security action is not enough, adding that ASEAN ought to work more closely on dealing with the ideological and social issues.