WASHINGTON D.C, May 13 — ASEAN leaders stand firm on several international issues during their meeting with United States President Joe Biden at the ASEAN-US Special Summit here Friday (Saturday in Malaysia).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said ASEAN leaders also showed a common stand during the discussions on Russia-Ukraine and South China Sea issues.

ASEAN wanted the Russia-Ukraine crisis to be resolved through the negotiation table, he told Malaysian media after attending the final session of the two-day special summit together with President Biden and ASEAN leaders.

“War does not benefit anyone. In fact, many would suffer great losses because of the war,” he said.

In this context, Malaysia, he said, felt that the US should use its influence to help solve the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia pointed out that Southeast Asian countries were also affected by the war, especially in terms of the rise in inflation and food prices, hence the call for the war to be resolved through peaceful means.

On Feb 24, Russia launched a full military operation on Ukraine, days after Kremlin recognised the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Touching on the South China Sea issue, the Prime Minister said ASEAN was also firm in its stand that the waterway should be free from outsiders’ interference.

“The South China Sea must remain free in line with the Freedom of Navigation which is an international law (of the sea). Any conflict in the area will affect the global supply chains,” he said.

The Malaysian leader also called on all countries to respect ASEAN’s stand on the matter.


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