ASEAN, partners meet in Singapore to strengthen defence ties
The ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) and ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) took place in Singapore from July 11 to 13. — VNA/VNS Photo
SINGAPORE — The ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) and ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) took place in Singapore from July 11 to 13 to enhance defence co-operation in ASEAN and partner countries.
The two meetings also aimed to prepare for the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) slated for this October.
At the ADSOM, leaders discussed reports on defence co-operation among ASEAN nations, the meetings of ASEAN military research agencies, and the preparations for the ADMM and ADMM+.
They reaffirmed the importance of solidarity within the bloc to effectively respond to common security challenges. Amid a swiftly changing strategic context, they said ASEAN needed to continue to promote ties with major partners to maintain peace and stability in the region.
The meeting also scrutinised the grouping’s defence co-operation initiatives such as the ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network and a network of ASEAN chemical, biological and radiological defence experts.
Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, who led the Vietnamese delegation at the meetings, said Việt Nam together with Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia, had been chosen by the United Nations to become a training site for peacekeeping forces in the region. Therefore, the country was ready to play a more active role in improving ASEAN’s peacekeeping capacity. It also wants to boost connections with other countries in joint exercises, sharing experience in military medicine, and search and rescue activities.
Regarding the network of ASEAN chemical, biological and radiological defence experts, he suggested that dealing with the consequences of past wars should be added to this network’s activities. This proposal was welcomed by participating countries.
For more than five decades, Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia had suffered from the consequences of chemical weapons left over from the war. Việt Nam was one of the countries leading the way in this area, and was ready to share its experience and dioxin detoxification technologies with other ASEAN countries, Vịnh said.
The general also called on the bloc to co-operate more with partners to deal with UXOs left over from the war.
The ADSOM+ welcomed officials from ASEAN and partner nations including India, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Hoàng Anh Tuấn provided updates on the bloc’s defence co-operation progress, renewing ASEAN’s viewpoint that all disputes must be resolved peacefully in line with international law, and navigation and aviation freedom in the region must be ensured and respected.
The partner countries valued ASEAN’s role and voiced their support for the bloc’s central role in cooperation mechanisms for promoting regional peace and stability, especially the ADMM+.
To prepare for the fifth ADMM+ in Singapore in October, officials gave their opinions on a draft ministerial joint statement on the fight against terrorism and measures to build substantive trust.
Within the framework of the ADSOM and the ADSOM+, Deputy Minister Vịnh also had bilateral meetings with heads of the delegations from Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan and the US. — VNA/VNS
Update: July, 13/2018 – 21:00
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