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ASEAN defense minister meeting stresses unity, cooperation against COVID-19 outbreak

(Xinhua)    09:41, February 20, 2020

Representatives of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Retreat pose for group photos in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, Feb. 19, 2020. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers' Meeting Retreat was held here on Wednesday, with a joint statement on defense cooperation against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak released, stressing the ASEAN unity and solidarity and pledging further cooperation against the epidemic. (Xinhua/Wang Di)

HANOI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers' Meeting Retreat was held here on Wednesday, with a joint statement on defense cooperation against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak released, stressing the ASEAN unity and solidarity and pledging further cooperation against the epidemic.

In the statement, the defense ministers expressed their great concern over the COVID-19 outbreak, saying they share and value China's efforts in fighting the epidemic.

Noting that regional and international collaboration is required to deal with the outbreak, the statement emphasized the importance of ASEAN unity and solidarity in response to the disease, and reaffirmed ASEAN members' commitment to promoting defense cooperation, including that in military medicine cooperation and information sharing.

It also reaffirmed the chairman's statement on ASEAN collective response to the outbreak of COVID-19 released on Feb. 15, which called for cohesion and responsiveness in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

In his opening speech at the meeting Wednesday, Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich said the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting created a foundation to promote and formulate practical cooperation initiatives in many fields, especially non-traditional security issues such as military medicine, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Vietnam, as the rotating chairman of the ASEAN 2020, has also asked the ASEAN's partner countries to further strengthen cooperation to enhance the response capacity for ASEAN countries' military medicine, Lich said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Liang Jun)

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