Vietnam’s proposals in enhancing maritime law enforcement cooperation were lauded by participants at the third annual commanders’ forum of the Gulf of Thailand that took place in the central city of Da Nang from January 14-16.

During the three-day forum on Maritime Enforcement Interoperability Initiative , the Vietnam Marine Police suggested that a joint commitment from all countries in the Gulf of Thailand is necessary to serve as a legal framework for cooperation and coordination in handling issues in the region.

Vietnam also recommended organising joint drills in law enforcement, search and rescue and disaster response for law enforcement forces in the Gulf of Thailand .

At the same time, the host country said attentions should be paid to several other issues, such as the building of regulations allowing the extradition of criminals and law violators as well as the chasing of vessels violating state sea territory.

In addition, Vietnam suggested the involvement of other countries such as Indonesia , Singapore and the Philippines in the forum as observers.

According to the Vietnamese Marine Police, crime and law violation are still rife in the Gulf of Thailand , with many cases of cross-border trafficking, migration, drug transport, illegal fishing and piracy.

Jointly organised by the Vietnamese Marine Police and the US Embassy in Hanoi , the forum drew the participation of the four member countries - Thailand , Malaysia , Cambodia and Vietnam .

The event aims to review law enforcement in marine security and see all parties exchange ideas based on their experiences operating in the region.

The forum is also a chance to consolidate mutual trust and consensus among countries in the Gulf of Thailand in settling challenges in maritime security, thus seeking measures to ensure continued peace and safety in the region.-VNA