Army chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries met Tuesday in Thailand's central province of Phechaburi for a close-door ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting under the theme of promoting understanding and cooperation among ASEAN countries.
"After seven years of fruitful meetings among our ASEAN chiefs of army, the main objective of this annual activity has maintained its core value of enhancing a warm and friendly understanding and cooperation among armies of ASEAN countries," Anupong Paochinda, the Chief of the Royal Thai Army said at the opening ceremony.
"Since the magnitude and character of security challenges have transformed themselves to non-traditional ones, it is beyond the capacity of any country to deal with and handle them alone," he said, "Cooperation and coordination, along with the exchange of information among members of ASEAN will provide integrated strength and competency to manage challenges derived."
During the meeting, Thailand proposed the topic of "Forging Development Cooperation to Build Stabilities among ASEAN Armies."
Anupong said that military forces are required to adapt their roles and restructure their forces to maintain stability and security during a time when new threats are emerging on a daily basis.
"This transformation will enable them to tackle these new threats more effectively," he added. "In this connection, if all of ASEAN armies are to come together and utilize their collective resources and capabilities, it is certain that the efforts to maintain regional peace and stability as well as to develop the region as a whole, will be achieved."
Attending the one-day meeting were Brunei's Commander of Royal Land Force Pengiran Dato Paudka Haji Roslibin Pengiran Haji Chuchu,Cambodia's Deputy Army Chief Meas Sophea, Indonesia's National Army Chief of Staff Djoko Santoso, Lao Deputy Chief of the GeneralStaff Department Bouasieng Champaphanh, Malaysia's Army Chief Dato Muhammad Ismail Bin Haji Jamaluddin, Myanmar's Commander of No. 4 Bureau of Special Operation Maung Bo, Philippine's Army Chief Alexander Yano, Singapore's Army Chief Neo Kian Hong and Vietnam People's Army Deputy Chief of General Staff Nguyen Huu Kham.
ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting is one of the main military-to-military interactions and activities outside the ASEAN's security dialogue framework. It was first held by the initiative of the Royal Thai Army in 2000.
Last year, it was conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam with the theme of "Cooperation for building up trust and to strengthen the unity, friendship and mutual understanding among ASEAN's Armies."