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PH, Vietnam seek peaceful end to sea row

HANOI – A hotline communication system between the Philippines and Vietnam will be established to facilitate cooperation in ensuring maritime security amid lingering territorial conflict in the South China Sea.

The two countries have also agreed to implement measures to protect their respective fishermen and settle any dispute peacefully.

Closer maritime cooperation was among the key agreements forged by President Duterte and Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. The two leaders met behind closed doors at the Presidential Palace last Thursday on ways to enhance their strategic partnership.

The two leaders, in a joint statement, have agreed “to strengthen existing maritime cooperation mechanisms such as the hotline communication mechanism between coast guard authorities of both countries, as well as to adopt other measures to ensure the safety and security of fishermen from both countries as well as to solve amicably the unexpected incidents at sea.” (Genalyn D. Kabiling)