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Australia, Singapore take no side in South China Sea disputes


13:55, September 10, 2012

CANBERRA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia and Singapore take no side in the competing territorial claims over some South China Sea islands, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Monday.

At a press conference held with Singaporean ministers after the 7th Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) meeting in Canberra, Carr said Australia and Singapore are like- minded in their approach to the dispute.

"We will continue to talk to the parties and we will emphasize we take no side in the competing territorial claims," Carr said. " But we do urge a peaceful resolution of those claims in accordance with international law."

He said there were shared concerns about the "atmospherics" of the dispute and its global impact on the image of the Asia-Pacific region as a place to do business.

"We want the world to continue to be impressed by what freer trade and market economics is producing in this part of the world. "

The one-day ministerial committee talks were established in 1996 by the Singaporean and Australian prime ministers.

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