ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Defense cooperation boosts regional peace
Thanh said the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+), which will be attended by 18 defense ministers, would be an "historic" event.
Participants at the first ADMM Retreat meeting put final touches to preparations for the first ADMM+ meeting, which begins today.
ASEAN's eight dialogue partners are Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
Thanh said cooperation among Asean members and the eight non-member countries would help ensure the security interests of each country and the region as a whole.
Today, defense ministers will discuss the establishment of a framework for regional co-operation on counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, rescue, maritime security, military medicine and peacekeeping operations.
Yesterday, ministers adopted the Attachment Paper of ADMM +: Modalities and Procedures; reviewed the discussion paper on Potential, Prospects and Direction of Practical Co-operation within the framework of ADMM +; and the draft Joint Declaration of the first ADMM +.
Indonesia will host of the second ADMM+ meeting when it takes over the chairmanship of ADMM from Viet Nam next year.
Thanh held talks with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates during his official visit to Viet Nam to attend the ADMM+.
The two leaders discussed measures to speed up co-operation in the area of national defence that included the exchange of delegations at different levels, English training, the provision of information about Vietnamese soldiers missing in action during the war and the search for American servicemen still listed as missing, the clearance of unexploded bombs and mines, solving the effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin and humanitarian support.
The same day, Thanh received Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
The two sides agreed to strengthen the exchange of military delegations, human resource training, sharing experience in search and rescue and other issues of common concern.
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