ASEAN Naval Chiefs’ Meeting opens in Hanoi

The fifth ASEAN Naval Chiefs’ Meeting (ANCM-5) opened in Hanoi on July 27 with a hope of bringing defence and military cooperation in the region to a deeper and more practical level.

Addressing the event, Lieut. Gen. Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, said the meeting took place amidst recent developments in the region’s security and with special attention given to maritime security.

Ensuring a maritime environment of peace, stability, safety and harmony to serve sustainable economic development is the common aspiration of member nations and a core factor to link and promote cooperation in ASEAN, he said.

The Vietnam Ministry of Defence and the Vietnam People’s Army strongly support cooperation among navies of ASEAN countries in bilateral and multilateral channels, as well as expansion of cooperation between ASEAN navies and partner countries, the Chief of the General Staff affirmed.

The Vietnamese side welcomes forms of cooperation such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, joint patrols, establishment of hotlines between naval units, information exchange, joint training to and joint exercises, in order to increase response capability to non-traditional security challenges of the region, Ty added.

Vice Admiral Nguyen Van Hien, Deputy Defence Minister and Commander of the Vietnam People’s Navy, said that with the theme, “ASEAN Naval Cooperation for Maritime Peace and Security”, ANCM-5 took place in the context where security in the East Sea has become complicated, with violations of national sovereignty over some ASEAN countries causing concerns for many regional and non-regional countries, especially violations of international law such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Hien noted that the situation is not ideal for any nation in the region, including landlocked countries.

ASEAN navies are law enforcement forces, ensuring security at sea, he said, stressing ASEAN member countries’ task of protecting national sovereignty and obligations of cooperating and coordinating at sea in the spirit of solidarity and friendship.

The meeting agreed with the common view on cooperative potential between ASEAN navies and reached consensus on documents, including orientations for cooperation between ASEAN navies, exchanges between ASEAN young naval officers and the action programme for 2011-2013.

The meeting welcomed Brunei as the host for ANCM-6 in 2012.

This year’s meeting drew the participation of naval chiefs of nine ASEAN member countries and the Lao military attache in Vietnam . /.

VNA

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