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U.S. always moves forward in assisting ASEAN countries in disasters: official

(Xinhua)

09:09, March 31, 2012

JAKARTA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The United States always moves forward in assisting ASEAN countries hit by disasters as it is the country's policy to enhance cooperation with the region, an official said here on Friday.

Nirav Patel, the U.S. Deputy Assistant of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs, told a public lecture in the ASEAN Secretariat that the American military was the first party coming to Indonesia's Aceh that was hit by deadly tsunami in December 2004, and also in Thailand when it was hit by a big flood several months ago, and others.

Later on, Patel told reporters that an important American military's presence in the region is to respond quickly to disasters.

"We mobilize our troops, ships, planes, assistance in a way that is quick, rapid, and to be honest, in a way that military of other countries in the world has not the capacity," said Patel.

He added that the focus is to maintain and help people in the part of the world to respond and to address the tragedy.

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