Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia in 2012 is planning to focus more on promoting comprehensive maritime cooperation in ASEAN, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry Michael Tene said here on Friday.
"Maritime cooperation in ASEAN is among regional issues which become Indonesia`s attention in 2012. We want ASEAN to have a comprehensive cooperation in the maritime sector such as maritime security, maritime environment and fisheries," Michael said.
He said maritime cooperation was expected to develop confidence building and strengthen cooperation among ASEAN member countries .
Maritime sector has long been a challenging factor and sometimes a conflict starter for some ASEAN member countries. Border clashes in South China Sea between four ASEAN countries and China and also illegal fishing issues are among maritime problems facing members of the regional organization.
Earlier during the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali last November 2011, ASEAN Leaders agreed to to promote maritime cooperation, and fight piracy and maritime crimes. The leaders also agreed to tackle transnational crimes and threats, to ensure safe and free international navigation.
The agreement was stated in the Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations or the Bali Concord III signed by the leaders of the ten ASEAN member countries namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.