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Ferdinand Marcos Jr with Halimah Yacob and Lee Hsien Loong Discuss South China Sea Issue

Ferdinand Marcos Jr with Halimah Yacob and Lee Hsien Loong Discuss South China Sea Issue.lelemuku.com.jpg

SINGAPORE, LELEMUKU.COM - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wrapped up a two-nation Southeast Asian tour in Singapore on Wednesday, where he and local government leaders agreed to boost counter-terrorism cooperation and affirmed the importance of peace in the South China Sea.

Marcos arrived in Singapore on Tuesday after completing a state visit to Indonesia – his first foreign trip as president since he was elected in a landslide in May.

Marcos, together with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, agreed to strengthen cooperation on information and telecommunications technology, according to a joint statement.

“The leaders welcomed the wide-ranging and robust cooperation between both countries, including in trade and investment, counterterrorism, healthcare and digital cooperation,” said the statement issued after they met on Wednesday.

They also reaffirmed long-standing bilateral and defense ties and welcomed the signing of an agreement between their militaries to set up a joint team to be based in Singapore and that would work on “counter-terrorism information” sharing.

The two countries’ leaders also discussed topics that affect the region, including peace amid competing claims in the South China Sea, as well as the deepening political crisis in Myanmar where four activists opposed to the military regime were recently executed.

According to the joint statement, the Philippine and Singaporean leaders agreed on the importance of a “peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

They also emphasized the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the negotiations for a code of conduct on the South China Sea issue, in accordance with the same principles.

“They underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and to conduct substantive negotiations towards the conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea….”

On Myanmar, Marcos and Singapore’s leaders expressed “deep concern” about the post-coup political situation and called for the release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

“While upholding [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’] principle of non-interference, the leaders expressed support for ASEAN’s active role in assisting Myanmar, an integral member of the ASEAN Family, to overcome the current crisis and to return to the path of democratization,” the statement said. (Camille Elemia / Jojo RiƱoza | BenarNews)

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