ASEAN countries plan defense cooperation

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ASEAN countries are developing cooperative programs of defense, Vietnam's official said at an ASEAN defense ministers' meeting wrapped up in Hanoi on Thursday, VnExpress reported.

Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh was quoted as saying that the cooperative programs will include joint sea and land patrols, and fighting terrorism.

ASEAN countries will also plan rehearsals for rescues and humanitarian missions in case of emergencies caused by natural disasters, Thanh told the meeting on regional security and defense.

During the four-day session, the ministers and high-ranking defense officials shared their views about ASEAN current security situation and report on each countries' defense policy, another news website Vietnamnet said.

They also began preparing for the extensive ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting to be held in Vietnam this October.

The 4th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting is part of the region's efforts to establish a political and security community as a step towards founding the full-fledged "ASEAN Community" in 2015, according to the news source.

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