Cambodia has vowed to improve collaboration with regional partners in a bid to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation while there is no sign of terrorism in the country, according to a senior government official.
The pledge was made during a two-day Asean Defence Ministers meeting that kicked off on Monday in Singapore, where the ministers mainly focussed on terrorism and other regional security issues.
During the retreat, Cambodian Defence Minister General Tea Banh warned that peace in the region was now under threat from the challenges of terrorism, natural disasters and climate change.
“Even though Cambodia is not directly under threat from any terrorist groups, the Cambodian government still stands strong and is always mindful of security threats in the region,” he said.
“It considers the issue of terrorism part of the region’s transnational security concern.”
Gen Banh added that all Asean member states were concerned about the potential rise of terrorism in the region.
“We must step up practical comprehensive cooperation and strengthen regional security to prevent the problems in advance,” he said.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the defence ministers agreed to increase collaboration among Asean member states to fight terrorism.
“The Asean defence ministers agreed to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation among our defence establishments, and with our external partners,” said the statement.
The ministers said the scale and complexity of the terrorist threat faced by the region continued to grow with the influx of returning foreign terrorist fighters and the cross border movement of terrorists.
“We will cooperate to counter terrorist propaganda and promote positive messages of respect, inclusion, and moderation, including through developing a compendium of regional counter narratives,” it said.