The US has reaffirmed its commitment to deepen its practical cooperation with ASEAN on areas of mutual interest including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, according to the ASEAN Secretariat.

“The multilateral exercises that we do with ASEAN provide valuable platforms as it brings in other partner countries to operate closely together, hence contributing not only to regional, but global security,” Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the United States Pacific Command (US PACOM), said while visiting the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on February 6.

Admiral Locklear emphasised the US strong commitment to support ASEAN in its endeavours to promote peace and security in the region, adding that the US PACOM has the resources available to support and assist ASEAN.

The US PACOM has assigned personnel to assist the US Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta. The US, the Admiral said, also stands ready to assist Myanmar in its capacity as the ASEAN Chair this year, and incoming Chair, Malaysia in 2015, he said.

At the talks with Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political Security Community Nyan Lynn, Admiral Lockear announced preparations for the upcoming informal dialogue between ASEAN Defence Ministers and the US Secretary of Defence in Hawaii in early April this year.

The two sides highlighted the value and benefit of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises under the various ASEAN-led mechanism such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus.

The various exercises held in 2013 involved resources and personnel from the military and civilian agencies, the said.-VNA