The south-western provinces are urged to work closely together in preventing and stamping out crimes and vices in the context that the national, regional and international situation is forecast to develop complicatedly in 2014.

Representatives of these provinces attended a conference in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on January 7 to work out plans and directions to maintain security and defence in the region in 2014.

Organised by the Steering Committee for the South-western Region, the event was also attended by representatives from the Ministries of Public Security and National Defence, and the Military Zones 7 and 9.

Participants emphasised the necessity to implement efficiently policies on ethnic and religious affairs and launch communication campaigns to raise the awareness of religious dignitaries and ethnic minority people of the national defence policy and the people-based security.

They also underlined the need to get religious dignitaries and charismatic people from ethnic minority groups involved in educating those once duped by the hostile forces.

In 2013, security and defence in the region were kept stable. The functional forces well teamed up with the Steering Committee to manage and respond to arising issues to maintain political security and social order in the area.-VNA