Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia signed a joint statement committing to enhanced cooperation in border security at their first ministerial meeting on security in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20.

The countries agreed to focus future cooperation on increasing the exchange of information, joint patrols and security checks along border lines and at border gates, promoting popularisation and education on respecting and observing border regulations, laws and custom of each country and improving the quality of personnel training.

The three sides pledged to support and share information at regional and international forums for the benefit of each country, while implementing the goals of the ASEAN politics-security community.

Addressing the meeting, Vietnam ’s Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh, Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Lao Minister of Public Security Thongbanh Sengaphone spoke highly of the cooperation among the three countries, particularly between their border provinces in recent years, contributing to maintaining political stability, social order and safety, to serve socio-economic development and integration in each country.

Minister Anh said the three countries’ police forces implemented comprehensive cooperation in many areas, focusing on exchange of information on crimes, and mutual assistance in fighting transnational crime, cross-border drug trafficking and human trafficking.

They coordinated in investigating and pursuing law violators, boosted cooperation in personnel training, and also promoted cooperation between border provinces, he added.

Minister Sar Kheng, who is also Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia , said that the cooperation mechanism for development between authorities and relevant forces in border provinces set through annual Cambodia-Vietnam and Cambodia-Laos meetings contributed to maintaining security and social order to assist development in border areas, particularly the development triangle area.

Lao Minister of Public Security Thongbanh Sengaphone stressed the need for the three countries to closely work together to ensure national security, social order and safety, facilitating sustainable socio-economic development in each country.

The three countries should be determined to prevent any individual or organisation to use the territory of any country to sabotage the other countries, offer mutual help in preventing and solving transnational crimes as well as enhancement of cooperation to maintain security and order along border lines, he added.

Participants agreed on a rotation from country to country every two years and the next meeting will be held in Cambodia in 2013./.