SENGGIGI, Indonesia (Reu-ters) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wants the US and Europe to lift sanctions against member Myanmar after its recent elections and release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it said on Sunday. The moves by Myanmar, a politically isolated state that has often been an international embarrassment to the region, have given it a veneer of democracy but have not loosened its military rulers firm grip on power. ASEAN will keep pushing Myanmar to build on the release of Suu Kyi by including her in the political system, but countries which uphold sanctions against the country should recognise progress made so far, said Marty Natalegawa, foreign minister of Indonesia and ASEAN chair this year. ASEAN advocates the immediate or early removal or easing of sanctions that have been applied against Myanmar by some countries, Natalegawa told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on Lombok island in Indonesia. The release of Suu Kyi should act as springboard for greater progress towards democracy, Natalegawa told Reuters. She is some part of the solution not the problem, Natalegawa told Reuters during a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers on Lombok island in Indonesia. Developments must not be allowed to dissipate. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose 10 members include Myanmar, has a policy of non-interference in members domestic affairs and has tried engaging with Myanmar rather than imposing sanctions as the West has done. Indonesia warned on Sunday that maritime conflicts in Asia could spiral out of control and threaten regional stability, as Southeast Asian nations sought common ground on the disputed South China Sea. Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and China have disputed control of areas such as the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, potentially home to oil reserves and near key shipping lanes. Vietnam has had skirmishes with China over the issue. If not properly managed, these can spiral out of control, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told Reuters on Sunday in an interview on the sidelines of a regional meeting of foreign ministers. He said the ministers had discussed the South China Sea in great detail at their retreat in an isolated luxury resort on Lombok island. Natalegawa also pointed to risks from maritime disputes not involving Southeast Asian nations, such as those between China and Japan. North Koreas shelling of a South Korean island along a disputed maritime boundary last year rattled world markets. ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said on Sunday that China was keen to move forward on the issue and ASEAN was seeking common ground, though he did not reveal what ASEANs potential negotiating position would be. The issue is likely to be taken up again at an ASEAN leaders summit with China, South Korea and Japan later this year in Bali. Chinese Premier Hu Jintao is set to visit the United States this week, and analysts expect the US to court ASEAN as a bulwark against the growing military assertiveness of China in the region. Countries such as Indonesia are trying to improve political and investment ties with both sides.