A Vietnamese delegation led by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, the Deputy Minister for National Defence, attended the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) in Siem Reap in Cambodia on April 24.

At the meeting, ASEAN’s defence officials emphasised the need to step up defence cooperation within ASEAN, as this will be extremely important part of an ASEAN Community in 2015.

They also reiterated the necessity to strengthen solidarity within ASEAN and solve disputes through dialogue and in accordance with international laws, to maintain regional peace and stability.

The officials approved the agenda for the 6 th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-6), which is scheduled for late May in Phnom Penh .

They also highlighted the role of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) as important for ensuring cooperation in defence and security strategies between ASEAN and its partners.

They also proposed increasing the frequency of the ADMM+ to every two years instead of every three at present.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh said the increase in the number of the ADMM+ reflects the aspirations of ASEAN member countries to support this cooperation mechanism.

“However, we need a final decision from ASEAN’s defence ministers so we can consult with our partners and reach a consensus”, he said.

Two initiatives were tabled by Cambodia at the one-day meeting, one being the master plan on ASEAN Security and the other a draft paper on a conflict free ASEAN Region.

On the sidelines of the ADSOM, Vietnam ’s Defence Deputy Minister met with General Neang Phat, the Secretary of State of the Cambodian Defence Ministry.

Vinh said that both ministries need to focus on implementing the memorandum of understanding on bilateral military cooperation which was signed in Da Nang City in March this year.

He also called on all parties concerned to make more contributions to Vietnamese Cambodian Friendship and Solidarity Year 2012.

General Phat said that Cambodia highly values Vietnam’s support and he added that he hoped Vietnam’s defence ministry will continue to provide assistance to the Cambodian ministry in hosting ASEAN events this year.-VNA