Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (L) attends the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat. (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat) opened in Bangkok on November 17.

In his remarks, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan thanked the defence ministers and the ASEAN Secretariat office for supporting the country to complete its role as the ASEAN Chair in 2019, and particularly successfully organise the ASEAN defence ministers’ meetings.

He spoke highly of the ASEAN member states’ positive roles in promoting security-defence cooperation within the bloc, contributing to the maintenance of ASEAN’s central role to effectively cope with regional challenges.

The official expressed his hope that the meeting will serve as a venue for competent sides to exchange experience and opinions on defence and security issues, helping further boost collaboration in the field in the time ahead.

As scheduled, defence ministers of the 10 ASEAN member states and eight dialogue partners, namely the US, Russia, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, New Zealand, and Australia, will gather at the ADMM Retreat and the 6th ADMM-Plus on the concept of “Sustainable Security” on November 17-18. They will discuss measures to enhance trust and strengthen security cooperation between ASEAN members and dialogue partners in all respects.

Discussions will be held on cooperation in seven areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, military medicine, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian activities and cyber security.

According to the observers, security in the East Sea will become a focus of the defence leaders.

Vietnam will take over the role of the ADMM and ADMM Plus Chair from Thailand right after the 6th ADMM Plus concludes on November 18.

Vietnam’s participation at the events, at the invitation of Thai PM and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, showed the country’s active, proactive and responsible engagement in cooperation areas within the ADMM and ADMM Plus and efforts to implement the country’s initiatives in the ASEAN defence cooperation framework.

Through the events, Vietnam also affirms its role and position in the region and the world by involving in multilateral forums as well as promoting common efforts in maintaining peace, stability and development in the region./.

VNA