VN talks defence at ASEAN retreat
|Delegates of the 7th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Retreat pose for a family photo in Seri Begawan, Brunei on August 28, 2013.— XINHUA/VNA Photo
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (VNS)— Minister of National Defence General Phung Quang Thanh yesterday discussed the importance of defence co-operation towards building an ASEAN Political-Security Community by 2015 at the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Retreat (ADMM) in Brunei.
At the event, Thanh and other defence ministers of ASEAN bloc pledged to cope with defence and security challenges via ADMM and ADMM Plus (ADMM+) mechanisms which, according to them, should be strengthened.
Closer links to tackle other challenges like humanitarian assistance, search and rescue and maritime security were agreed.
The ministers pointed to cyber security as a new field that needs attention. They reached a consensus on strengthening realistic measures, such as the opening of communication lines to minimise risks of incidents, especially those at sea, to build trust.
Participants shared the opinion that a stronger army-to-army link is a key momentum behind defence co-operation and ASEAN's centrality is crucial to the process of promoting ADMM+.
On the fringes of the event there was an informal ASEAN-US meeting where US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said his country wants to work with ASEAN member nations in all fields and backs the regional co-operation mechanism in which the bloc plays a central role.
The US wants the East Sea disputes to be settled peacefully and it will make continued contributions to regional peace and stability, Hagel said.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Thanh said Viet Nam wanted the US to continue engaging in dealing with war consequences in the country.
Thanh stressed that Viet Nam treasured a comprehensive partnership with the US in various realms, including defence. He said he hoped the two nations would develop the ties for the sake of the two peoples.
"Viet Nam will make it easier for the US in the MIA issue and expects that the US will provide the country with more information about missing Vietnamese soldiers during the war," he added.
Hagel vowed to continue carrying out the MoU and help Viet Nam with bomb and mine clearance, detoxification and peacekeeping activities.
Thanh also had meetings with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera, RoK's Minister of Defence Kim Kwan-ji, and Malaysian Defence Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Husein.
Today, the ASEAN defence ministers, together with senior defence officials of the eight dialogue partners, are to take part in the ADMM+.
At the first meeting in Viet Nam in 2010, the ADMM+ was described as a tool to engage ASEAN Dialogue Partners in dialogue and co-operation on defence and security matters, aimed at ensuring peace, stability and development in the region and heading towards an ASEAN Community by 2015. — VNS