Next Taipei-Manila fish meet to be held by year's end: envoy
CNATAIPEI--The next fishery meeting between Taipei and Manila will “definitely” be held by the end of this year, and it is possible both sides will issue a joint statement on efforts to address fishing disputes in overlapping waters, the Philippines' representative to Taiwan said Saturday.
September 29, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
“Definitely, before the end of this year we will have the fishery talks,” Antonio Basilio told the local media on the sidelines of the opening of the Asia-Pacific Culture Day in Taipei.
In the next round of talks, both sides will discuss issues regarding law enforcement in Taiwan and the Philippines, to ensure that a shooting incident in the two sides' overlapping exclusive economic zones will not happen again, Basilio said.
It has been more than three months since the two sides held a meeting in Manila to address fishing disputes in their overlapping waters.
During the June 14 meeting, both sides reached an initial consensus, which included issues that there should be no use of force or violence during patrols of fishing grounds and that a mechanism should be established to inform each other of any fishery related incidents.
In the next meeting, Basilio said that “we will put that down in writing and we will also discuss many details that will make sure they are in accordance with both Taiwan and Philippines laws.”
Asked whether the two sides will issue a joint statement that includes the consensus in the next meeting, he said that was “the objective.”
A joint statement is expected to strengthen the legal effect of the consensus reached in June.
The next meeting, originally scheduled for Sept. 16, was pushed back because of continued fighting between Muslim rebels and government forces in the southern Philippines, said Benjamin Ho, director-general of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs under Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fishery talks were opened between Taipei and Manila after a Philippine Coast Guard vessel fired numerous shots at a Taiwanese fishing boat on May 9 in the two countries' overlapping exclusive economic zone. A 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman was killed.