Non-communist countries of South-East Asia have agreed to review their policy of barring entry to Vietnamese boat people.
Non-communist countries of South-East Asia have agreed to review their policy of barring entry to Vietnamese boat people. But officials representing the five-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said their new policy fell short of agreement to lift the ban on new arrivals immediately. The decision to reconsider policy towards the refugees was disclosed after two days of talks in Bali between ASEAN countries and Foreign Ministers of the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, representing the E.E.C. Their discussions were officially described as crucial for the quarter billion people of ASEAN, which groups Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
SYNOPSIS: ASEAN ministers agreed to continue giving asylum to the "boat people" if resettlement programmes are acted upon by other nations. Japan's Foreign Minister, Sunao Sonoda and his United States counterpart Secretary of State Cyris Vance were instrumental in establishing this agreement.
ASEAN ministers met their western colleagues in an informal session on Monday (2 July) the first day of eth conference and then separately to work out ways of tackling the problems of Indo China refugees.
One of the last to meet his ASEAN colleagues was the New Zealand Foreign Minister Brian Talboys. But on Tuesday (3 July) he joined the others in calling on Vietnam to halt the refugee exodus.
Through his interpreter, Japanese Foreign Minister Sonoda gave his assurances that those refugees now in camps throughout the ASEAN countries would be resettled within weeks of their lifting the ban on other refugees entering the country.