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  • From left, Thein Sein, president of Myanmar; Benigno Aquino III, president of the Philippines; Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore; Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister of Thailand; Nguyen Tan Dung, prime minister of Vietnam; and Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, join hands after a signing ceremony of adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration during a summit for the association in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Sunday. (Associated Press)

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    Southeast Asian leaders decided Sunday to ask China to start formal talks "as soon as possible" on crafting a legally binding accord aimed at preventing an outbreak of violence in disputed South China Sea territories, a top diplomat said.

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    New differences could undercut attempts by Southeast Asian countries and China to forge a pact aimed at preventing territorial conflicts from erupting into violence, diplomats said Tuesday at the start of a regional meeting.

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