Asean defence ministers start two-day talks in Philippines

Asean defence ministers start two-day talks in Philippines”

Defence ministers from the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean), in a joint statement, underscored the "need to maintain peace and stability in the region" and called "for the exercise of self-restraint and the resumption of dialogue to de-escalate tensions in the Korean peninsula".

"Terrorism and violent extremism remain as challenges in South East Asia".

"This morning's meeting will be an opportunity for us to focus on the progress of defense cooperation to include new initiatives and the way forward for (the defencc ministers' meeting)", Philippine Defende Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in his opening remarks.

The Philippines on Monday announced the end of five months of military operations in Marawi after a fierce and unfamiliar urban war that marked the country's biggest security crisis in years.

Established in 2006, ADMM is the highest defense consultative and cooperative mechanism in the Asean. The two-day meeting will discuss ways to enhance defence and security cooperation among the member nations to effectively counter various transnational security challenges facing the region.

"Australia and the Philippines have (an) extremely long shared regional and military history and our engagement here in the surveillance activity (in Marawi) has been an important extension of that", Payne said as she visited the crew of AP-3C Orion Aircraft of the Australian Defence Force.

Mattis will first visit the Philippines from Monday to Wednesday to attend the fourth ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Clark, Pampanga.

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