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Ministerial Meeting
August 2, 2007

ASEAN agree to strengthen defense ties
ASEAN's 10 member-countries have agreed to strengthen their defense cooperation ties and ratify the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism to face the threat of terrorism in the region, an Indonesian official said.

Dian Triansyah Djani, director of ASEAN affairs at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, said on the sidelines of the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting/AMM here on August 1, the agreement was contained in an ASEAN Ministers' Joint Communique.

The communique which was signed by all the 10 ASEAN ministers said ASEAN had agreed to make every possible effort toward the ratification and speedy implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counter-terrorism and to intensify cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The ASEAN ministers also underscored the results of the 7th ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC) held in Laos which recommended the institutionalization of the SOMTC's counter-terrorism working group.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar told a press conference the Malaysian government which had tried to bridge the conflict between the Philippine government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) was hopeful the civil war would end soon.

He also said Malaysia was ready to keep contributing to the settlement of the conflict in the southern Philippines as the prevalance of security and stability in one country would also benefit the other countries in the region. Antara

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