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24/06/2011: Secretary Del Rosario Commends U.S. Sen. Webb on South China Sea Resolution

Secretary Albert del Rosario (right) and Senator Jim Webb (left)

Shown in the photo above are Secretary Albert del Rosario (right) and Senator Jim Webb (left)

24 June 2011, Washington DC. Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario commended Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) for introducing with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) a resolution condemning the use of force in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Senator Webb serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs on the Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Inhofe is the Ranking Member.

Secretary del Rosario met with Senator Webb in Washington, D.C. a few days after the resolution was filed. The resolution calls for “a peaceful and multilateral resolution to maritime territorial disputes in Southeast Asia.” Secretary del Rosario reiterated with Senator Webb the importance of maritime security and freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea.  He said that this could be achieved through the employment of a rules-based mechanism and adherence to the principles of international laws in particular United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Senator Webb related to Secretary del Rosario his long-time interest in the issue of sovereignty in the South China Sea. He called the attention of the Secretary to the substantial work his Subcommittee has accomplished which made a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy towards the situation in the South China Sea. Senator Webb believes that it is now time to back policy with action. The Senator expressed confidence that the present resolution has a good chance of clearing the Senate this week. He said the bill’s passage sends a good signal on the U.S. Senate’s position on the territorial conflict in the region.

Senator Webb, an author and highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran, has visited the Philippines twice – the first occasion when he was still a journalist and later as Secretary of the Navy. He is the author of a book on World War II, The Emperor’s General, about a third of which is set in the Philippines during the years 1944-1945. (END)