Regional hotlines eyed amid Asian territorial row

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Associated Press

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Indonesia has asked Southeast Asian countries and China to establish emergency communication lines to allow officials to rapidly contain any outbreak of violence in disputed South China Sea territories as a solution to the long-unresolved conflicts remains elusive.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa made the proposal on the eve of an annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Cambodian capital where the territorial conflicts were expected to dominate discussions on a range of regional concerns that include human rights and a proposed regional free-trade pact.

The disputes have long been feared as Asia's next potential flashpoint.

Natalegawa said late Thursday that rival claimants should establish hotlines and commit to talk and rapidly quell any outbreak of violence.

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