ASEAN defence talks get underway in Cambodia

Senior officials from 27 countries gathered in Cambodia ’s capital Phnom Penh on May 24 for the ASEAN Regional Forum Defence Officials’ Dialogue.

They are expected to discuss ways of stepping up cooperation on issues of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping operations.

Addressing the meeting, Lieutenant General Nem Sowath, the Director General of the Policy and Foreign Affairs Department at Cambodia ’s Defence Ministry, said that the two-day forum is looking for further cooperation from ASEAN’s partners to address the issues.

He stressed that assistance from the dialogue partners is crucial for the creation of an ASEAN region of peace, harmony and prosperity.

The meeting also debated the fight against human trafficking, drug smuggling, maritime security and international terrorism in the region, he added.

Apart from ASEAN officials, this year’s talks drew defence officials from the United States , Russia , China , India , Japan and the Republic of Korea .

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA