President Barack Obama meets with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
Obama spoke during an Oval Office 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.