KOTA KINABALU: Overlapping claims in the South China Sea must be resolved through existing international laws, said US ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdir.

Kamala, who spoke to The Star during her five-day visit to Sabah, said any resolution to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea should involve all nations in the region.

“It’s important that all countries involved should be speaking to one another, including China, to find solutions to the overlapping claims in the resource-rich area which is also a key international shipping lane” she said.

In another development, Kamala said the United States would continue to help Sabah in areas of capacity-building of state personnel as well as researchers, especially those involved in environmental conservation.

She said the embassy had been working with the Sabah Parks as well as the Wildlife and Forestry and Parks departments to have their personnel visit the United States.

“These are opportunities for them to meet their US counterparts to get ideas and to see some of the challenges we have faced and how we have dealt with them and to adapt them to Sabah’s situation,” she added.

Kamala said the United States had brought in a judge and a deputy attorney general to work with Sabah enforcement officials and judges on how to tackle wildlife trafficking cases.

“The laws may be different, but the experiences and challenges we went through would be useful to Sabah,” she added.

During her visit, Kamala toured the orang utan and sun bear rehabilitation centres at Sepilok in Sandakan as well as the Danau Girang Field Research Centre (DGFC) in Kinabatangan.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/05/us-envoy-kamala-all-countries-must-talk-to-each-other-on-south-china-sea/#5dU4JKmSt68JcQX7.99