Manila's Aquino: Agrees with Obama on peaceful territorial dispute settlement

Reuters

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Monday he agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama that territorial disputes should be settled peacefully, after bilateral talks at the presidential palace in Manila.

The Philippines has sought international arbitration over China's "nine-dash-line" claims to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, an important shipping route that is believed to be rich in energy resources.

Apart from the Philippines, Beijing's territorial claims overlap with that of Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

"Both President Obama and I share the conviction that territorial and maritime disputes in the Asia Pacific region should be settled peacefully based on international law," Aquino said at a joint news conference.

"We affirm that arbitration is an open, friendly and peaceful approach to seeking a just and durable solution."

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Erik dela Cruz; Writing by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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