ASEAN must maintain centrality in programs: Indonesian minister

09:17, May 20, 2011      

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The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) must maintain its centrality in developing the ASEAN Defense Minister Meeting (ADMM) Plus forum, which includes member states and other countries including Japan and the United States, the online news quoted Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro as saying on Thursday.

Yusgiantoro said that the recent ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting Plus (ADSOM Plus) in Yogyakarta, co-hosted by Indonesia and the United States, as well as peacekeeping operations co- hosted by the Philippines and New Zealand, had determined five areas of defense cooperation, including anti-terrorism.

"One thing we must underline ... is that ASEAN's centrality must remain the working basis manifested through the increased performance of the ADMM," he said.

The ADMM forum, aside from stimulating interaction between defense communities and armed forces in the ASEAN multilateral context and regional context with partnering countries such as the United States, is also a vehicle to boost bilateral cooperation, he said.

"The ADMM, from the first to the fifth, aside from being a series of meetings at a defense-minister level, have also included increasing interaction and meetings between admirals of armed forces. This positive development significantly improved transparency, trust and respect, which are very important to the strengthening of ASEAN defense cooperation in the future," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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