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President Benigno Aquino III will bring up the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea in his meeting with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin on Thursday afternoon.
Lwin is in Manila for the meeting of the Philippines-Myanmar Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.
With a diplomatic relationship that started in 1956, the two countries held their first JCBC in April 2004 in Yangon.
"The meeting will cover a wide range of topics involving areas of mutual interest, such as political cooperation, trade and investment, human rights, education, agriculture, tourism, and air services, among others. They are also expected to discuss the West Philippine Sea," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is currently drafting a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.
The code will be a binding agreement among Asean member-states, which includes the Philippines and Myanmar, for the demilitarization of the disputed areas in the region as well as for the peaceful resolution of conflicting claims.
The Philippines has pushed for the exclusion of China, which claims the entire South China Sea through its own nine-dash line theory, in the drafting of the CoC. Valte said Aquino will also be extending his congratulations for the "significant steps toward reform and democratization that have been achieved in Myanmar."
"Enhanced bilateral ties with individual friends from Southeast Asia is a vital cornerstone of our continuing thrust toward Asean centrality and solidarity. As member-nations become emerging forces in the global arena, the Philippines is determined to do its part in strengthening the collective for the benefit of the region and its people," Valte added. InterAksyon.com