Foreign air force chiefs call for cooperation, dialogue in airspace

09:58, November 07, 2009      

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Foreign air force chiefs attending a Beijing forum Friday called for more cooperation and dialogue in maintaining airspace security.

They responded positively to Chinese President Hu Jintao's pledge of peaceful exploitation of airspace and his call for cooperation while meeting with them before an international military forum on peace and development held to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.

In the spirit of peace, development and cooperation, China will continue the commitment to peaceful exploitation and use of airspace, be vigorously involved in international cooperation on airspace security and facilitate the creation of secure and harmonious airspace, Hu said.

Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of Staff of Pakistani Air Force, said cooperation is very essential for his country's air force and other branches of the armed forces to cope with terrorism and separatism.

Only resorting to military measures could only solve 10 percent of the problems, and the other 90 percent rely on dialogue, cooperation and negotiations, Suleman said.

Lt. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, commander of the 13th Air Force of USAF, told Xinhua that to rapidly response to natural disasters and help people to make the human condition better is where the air force should go.

"Air and space offers speed, range and flexibility that you can't do on the ground and on the sea," Carlisle said. "And I think President Hu Jintao is right because there is much peaceful cooperative place to help people."

"We need to build trust," he said, adding the air force forum itself and other bilateral contacts will help remove misunderstandings between countries.

Air Chief Marshal Chris Moran, commander-in-chief of the British Royal Air Force Air Command, said that all the foreign delegations enjoyed the words President Hu said to them.

Moran said the forum focuses on helping foster understanding between the air forces. "Sometimes we misunderstand each other, but the important thing is people have a dialog through which we could understand people's intentions."

The two-day air force forum was sponsored by the PLA Air Force which is celebrating its 60th founding anniversary on Nov. 11.

At the invitation by the PLA Air Force Commander Gen. Xu Qiliang, air force delegations from 30 foreign countries will participate in a series of activities leading to the anniversary.

Source: Xinhua
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