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9th ASEAN army chiefs informal meeting kicks off in Cambodia

(Xinhua)

13:32, March 30, 2012

PHNOM PENH, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The 9th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) kicked off here Thursday in a bid to further enhance the bloc's military ties.

The ACDFIM is a regional platform for Chiefs of Defence Forces from the ASEAN countries to discuss cooperative mechanisms for current significant matters relevant to defence and security.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Gen. Pol Saroeun, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, expressed a warm welcome to the Chiefs of Defence Forces from the ASEAN member states, saying that the gathering reflected ASEAN's unity towards the realization of an ASEAN community by 2015.

He said the meeting would address common concerns and establish new and realistic initiatives to support the shared objectives of enhancing cooperation among ASEAN's defence forces.

It was also to review the development of ASEAN's military roles in responding to emerging non-traditional threats including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism, maritime security, and so on.

"The discussion is informal, but the results will significantly contribute towards building strong and cooperative militaries among the ASEAN member states," he said.

During the meeting, the army chiefs are expected to adopt a Joint Statement to further strengthen cooperation amongst ASEAN militaries.

The 9th ACDFIM was held after the 9th ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting (AMIIM) and the 2nd ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting (AMOIM) from March 26-28.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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