The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has extraordinary natural resource potential that has made it a magnet for the interests of global powers since the past, he stated while attending the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Retreat held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday.
Moreover, the ASEAN waters also serve as the lifeline of global transportation and trade, he remarked.
"However, we will find it hard to develop and utilize the potentials of the Southeast Asian waters optimally if each ASEAN member state does not provide protection, security, and safety guarantees," he pointed out.
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In the face of the current global uncertainty, the ASEAN should constantly uphold its commitment and connectivity for ensuring common welfare, he emphasized.
To this end, the ASEAN should establish strong and reliable cooperation and uphold its commitment to the ASEAN charter in a way that no seasonal interest will easily tear them apart, he stated.
"The ASEAN must not be torn apart and polarized that will eventually lead to conflict and disintegration. Indonesia stands firm against any form of invasion of the ASEAN territory," he stated.
ASEAN’s self-confidence in its strength must be started from its self-reliance, particularly in the field of defence, including cooperation in offering sea border security, settling border disputes, and building the defence industry that prioritize ASEAN centrality, he noted.
ASEAN cooperation within the framework of ADMM-Plus, Malacca Strait Patrol Cooperation, Trilateral Indomalphi in Sulu and Sulawesi Territorial Waters, and Exchange of Strategic Information ASEAN Our Eyes through ADI (ASEAN Direct Communication Infrastructure) mechanism have demonstrated the ASEAN commitment to creating a strong, peaceful, and prosperous region.