Hanoi: Foreign ministers of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared "deep concern" at
the sinking of a South Korean warship, says a draft document
which also calls for unimpeded aid access to Gaza.
"We expressed deep concern over the sinking of (the) ship
Cheonan and the rising tension on the Korean peninsula," says
the draft, which fails to apportion blame.
AFP obtained the document ahead of the 10 foreign
ministers` annual talks, which begin in Vietnam tomorrow.
The discussions culminate on Friday in the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF), Asia-Pacific`s largest security dialogue, which
will be attended by United States Secretary of State Hillary
Tensions over the sinking are expected to overshadow the
ARF talks, diplomats and observers said.
Foreign ministers of North and South Korea as well as
from Japan, Russia, China and Europe are among those expected
at the meeting of the 27-member ARF.
Seoul has said it wants ARF to condemn North Korea for
the torpedo attack which broke the corvette in two in March
with the loss of 46 lives.
Pyongyang vehemently denies involvement despite the
findings of a multinational investigation, and said it was
ready to retaliate if punished.