Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Ten ASEAN member countries have agreed to expand defence cooperation to foster regional security stability in both military operations and military operations other than war.

A draft joint declaration on strengthening defence cooperation among ASEAN member states will be the main agenda of ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting - Working Group (ADSOM WG) in Surabaya, East Java, on Tuesday.

Secretary General of the Defense Ministry Vice Marshal Eris Herryanto said on Tuesday the three-day meeting would discuss a wide range of issues related to ASEAN regional security.

In addition, the meeting would also discuss annual programs, defence cooperation such as development of ASEAN Peacekeeping Center Network and collaboration among defense industries, he said.

"The conclusion of the three-day meeting will be put in a draft of Joint Declaration on Strengthening Defence Cooperation of ASEAN and the Global Community to Face New Challenges," he said.

The draft of joint declaration would be brought to the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting in April in Jakarta for endorsement, he said.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Following the meeting among ASEAN member states, they would later hold ADSOM Plus with ASEAN dialog partners, such as the United States, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and New Zealand.

The ADSOM Plus-WG would discuss a draft paper on establishing an experts` working group covering five areas of cooperation in the fields of maritime affairs, humanitarian operation and disaster handling, peacekeeping operation, terrorism handling and military health, he said.

"The results of the meeting will hopefully lay operational foundation for defence cooperation between ASEAN member states and their dialog partners to create concrete policies," he said.(*)


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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