SUBANG: ASEAN countries must engage more closely with each other on defence because regional security threats now are no longer a one-nation affair.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said it was therefore crucial for ASEAN countries to undertake more confidence building measures among themselves.
"I always believe that confidence building plays a crucial role in achieving our common goal.
"Security threats today are no longer a one-nation affair. We can never be completely insulated from problems beyond our borders," he said in his remarks during the handing over ceremony of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) to Laos Defence Minister Lieutenant General Sengnouane Sayalat.
Laos will serve as the chair of ASEAN for next year.
The ADMM-Plus meeting was held at a hotel here Wednesday, involving ASEAN Defence Ministers and their counterparts from eight dialogue partners of the regional grouping, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
Hishammuddin said that through the ADMM mechanism, ASEAN countries and their eight dialogue partners have managed to build a solid foundation based on mutual understanding and trust.
"ADMM has shown a united front to the world and worked very hard to ensure that our co-operation mechanism is capable to address our ever-changing security challenges."
The first ADMM-Plus meeting was held in Vietnam in 2010 while the second was held in Brunei 2013.
The next ADMM-Plus meeting is scheduled to be held in Vientiane, Laos, next year.