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Asean defense chiefs to set up hotline

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Southeast Asian defense ministers plan to set up a hotline to keep their communications open and ease tension in the region.

Defense department spokesman Peter Galvez said the matter was discussed during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Retreat in Brunei last Wednesday.

The retreat is an informal meeting among defense ministers that was a follow-up to the 7th ADMM held last May.

“The ministers explored initiatives that are intended to help reduce tensions and risks and manage potential conflict in the region,” Galvez said in a statement.

“Such initiatives include proposals to establish a hotline platform, common lines and information sharing, and an agreement not to use force to address disputes,” he added.

The meeting also tackled key regional and international security issues, including defense cooperation in anticipation of the establishment of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community by 2015.

After the meeting, the defense ministers met with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to compare security outlooks.

They also talked about common concerns and political security cooperation.

Southeast Asian defense officials and the US have been conducting such meetings since 2011.

Among the security concerns in the region is the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, which involves the Philippines, China, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan.

China and Japan are also embroiled in a territorial row over Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diaoyu Islands.

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING BRUNEI CHINA AND JAPAN DEFENSE DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL DIAOYU ISLANDS PETER GALVEZ SENKAKU ISLANDS SOUTHEAST ASIAN VIETNAM AND TAIWAN
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