Indonesian Foreign Minister on mission to break Asean deadlock
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa is due to arrive in Phnom Penh today in a bid to break a deadlock at the annual meeting of Asean foreign ministers last week, officials said.
A diplomatic source said Natalegawa was in the Philippines yesterday in an effort to unite Asean voices over an annual joint statement on which the Asean ministers failed to agree.
Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Natalegawa "can discuss Asean issues with Hor Namhong," referring to the foreign minister. He refused to comment on whether the two ministers would discuss the joint statement.
However, a source said Natalegawa had been mandated by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help facilitate the joint statement.
The source added that the Indonesian minister would explore with Hor Namhong how to find a solution to the impasse, noting that the Indonesian leader had expressed his regrets over the failure to finalise the statement last week.
Hor Namhong blamed inappropriate language during the meeting, with the Philippines mentioning the disputed Scarborough Shoal and Vietnam referring to its exclusive economic zone.