Reaching consensus on disputed sea may be difficult: analyst

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2017 09:46 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2017 12:29 PM

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A foreign affairs expert believes Southeast Asian foreign ministers may face difficulty in discussing the South China Sea dispute.

ANC's resident analyst Richard Heydarian said reaching a consensus on the sensitive issue will be challenging as countries involved do not see eye to eye.

"I doubt if those countries will allow us to get to a consensus necessary even on the negotiation of the framework. I'm not holding out too much hope on that," he said.

But Heydarian believes the Philippines will put on diplomatic pressure on its neighbors. 

Heydarian is also more optimistic regarding discussions on fighting terrorism and transnational crime, especially since the threat of the Islamic State and extremism will affect the entire region.

"You have this very dangerous cocktail of new challenges, new security challenges that demand tremendous amount of cooperation among countries," he said.

He also noted that the drug problem, which he expects President Rodrigo Duterte to bring front and center, is a shared security issue among many countries.

"There's no way one country can deal with it so it's important that countries come together," he said.