Anti-terrorism officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan met in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Feb. 10 to intensify their efforts in preventing and suppressing terrorism.

In his opening speech, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said terrorism remains a hot topic threatening people in many countries, including ASEAN.

Terrorists are still nursing the ambition to utilise all means to carry out criminal acts causing fear and tragedy, the Deputy PM said at the sixth ASEAN-Japan counter-terrorism dialogue, calling on countries around the world to make more effort in the fight against terrorism.

The dialogue is useful for participating countries as they can propose anti-terrorism projects to Japan for support through the Japan-ASEAN Integrated Fund to fight terrorism, Sar Kheng said.

Meanwhile, as ASEAN integration makes steady progress, terrorism is considered as the major impediment which could undermine ASEAN efforts to enhance connectivity. As a result, toward 2015, further Japan-ASEAN cooperation for this area is expected to be assured.

ASEAN countries consist of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.