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Obama urges end to Asia’s maritime disputes


12:38 PM March 13th, 2013

March 13th, 2013 12:38 PM

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is urging Asian nations involved in maritime disputes to abide by the “rule of law and international standards” to ensure that conflict can avoided.

President Barack Obama meets with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP

Obama spoke during a White House meeting with the Sultan of Brunei. He thanked the Sultan for showing “great leadership” on the maritime conflicts that have raised tensions in Asia.

The disputes focused on islands in the South China and East China Seas. China has increased patrols near the islands, which are also claimed by the Philippines and Japan.

Brunei will host two Asian summits in October that Obama is expected to attend. The president says this year’s meetings will focus on energy and climate change and expanding commerce in the Pacific, as well as the maritime disputes.

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