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Europe Supports Philippines Over West Philippine Sea Claim

The European countries of Norway, Switzerland, European Council and European Commission have thrown their support for Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III’s stand to resolve claims on the West Philippine Sea diplomatically and peacefully.

Presidential Communication and Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. disclosed this to members of the media delegation covering the President’s attendance at the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting here.

The support came during bilateral meetings with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Swiss Confederation President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, European Council Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Varroso, the four leaders were for the Philippines’ position to resolve disputes in the area peacefully and following international law.

“We noted the increased importance of maritime security in the West Philippine Sea and there was an agreement that it was a matter of international interest as a significant amount of trade passes by the West Philippine Sea,” Coloma said.

“In particular, Switzerland and the EU and in part Norway indicated their firm support to our position that conflicts or disputes in that area are to be resolved peacefully and following international law and in particular there is firm support for an ASEAN-centric approach which has always been the position of President Aquino considering four out of the 10 members states of ASEAN have specific stakes in the West Philippine Sea,” he stressed.

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