Emphasis on closer defence cooperation
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ASEAN’S unity to ensure peace, stability and greater prosperity in the region was stressed at the recent ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat) in Myanmar.
Representing His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at the retreat was Energy Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar.
In a statement, Ministry of Defence (MinDef) said: “They (the ministers) emphasised the need to work closer together as neighbours, friends and partners to face the non-traditional security challenges and maintain peace and stability in the region.”
YB Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin also made bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the ADMM Retreat.
MinDef also said that ASEAN Defence Ministers have responded to His Majesty’s call to support the idea of setting up practical procedures that can avoid undesired incidents related to maritime security. The Monarch made the call in his capacity as Chairman of the 22nd ASEAN Summit last year.
Brunei’s ADMM leader also discussed ways to enhance the bilateral defence relations and reported on the status of the ADMM direct communications link (DCL) initiative.
MinDef said the ADMM DCL initiative aims at providing a permanent, rapid, reliable and confidential means of communication between any two ASEAN Defence Ministers to arrive at mutual decisions when handling crisis.
“The goal would be to effectively manage and contain tensions in the event of a possible military encounter, to foster de-escalation, and to provide channel for initial quick reaction and assistance in emergency situations,” it said.
A DCL working group meeting will be held in Brunei in January 2015 following its first meeting, also in Brunei, last month.
The Energy Minister also informed his counterparts that the Combined Field Training Exercise between the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security and the ADMM-Plus Counter Terrorism will be held in Brunei and Singapore in May 2016.
Also on the sidelines of the retreat, ASEAN Defence Ministers met with the Minister of Defense of Japan Akinori Eto for the ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting.
During the meeting, the ministers welcomed and commended Japan’s active engagement with ASEAN to promote peace and stability in the region.
Present to accompany the Energy Minister was the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Myanmar, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Pahlawan Colonel (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Abdu’r Rahmani Dato Paduka Hj Basir.
Also present were MinDef’s Acting Permanent Secretary (Finance and Administration) Hj Azhar Hj Ahmad and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development) Abu Sufian Hj Ali.
The ADMM Retreat was chaired by Myanmar’s Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Wai Lwin at the Aureum Palace Hotels and Resorts, Bagan.
The Brunei Times