The 9th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus is held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Nov. 23, 2022. (Photo by Van Pov/Xinhua)
SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- ASEAN-Plus defense ministers on Wednesday adopted here a joint declaration on defense cooperation to strengthen solidarity for harmonized security.
The joint declaration was adopted at the ninth ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (9th ADMM-Plus), which took part by defense ministers from ASEAN and its dialogue partners including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
The ministers agreed to "enhance the spirit of solidarity and cooperation within ASEAN and with the plus countries in order to realize a harmonized security to promote peace, stability, prosperity, and resilience against current and emerging security challenges in the region," the declaration said.
They vowed to strengthen their collective efforts and practical cooperation to mitigate the impact of the current and emerging, traditional and non-traditional threats including the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, violent extremism conducive to terrorism, and natural disasters, among others, it added.
Also, they agreed to promote peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region, including through the deepening of relations and effective practical cooperation, the adherence to the rule of law, and good governance, among others, the declaration said.
Speaking at a press conference, Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh, chair of the 9th ADMM-Plus, said the ministers also reaffirmed the belief that regionalism and multilateralism are important principles and frameworks of open and inclusive cooperation based on mutual benefit and respect to address common security concerns.
"We reaffirmed our commitment to promoting sustainable peace and security in the region by reinforcing strategic trust and mutual confidence within ASEAN and in the wider region through enhancing collaboration and dialogues under ASEAN-led mechanisms," he said.
Banh added that the ministers also welcomed the expansion of the ASEAN direct communications infrastructure in the ADMM process to the plus countries which will strengthen strategic cooperation as well as provide a platform for engagement in dialogue and enhancing transparency, regional confidence, and security-building measures.
At the end of the meeting, Banh handed over the chairmanship of the ADMM to his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto, who will chair the 17th ADMM and the 10th ADMM-Plus in 2023.
ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ■