Thursday, March 21, 2013

Indonesia urges Asia Pacific countries to boost strategic trust

Asia pacific countries should make efforts to boost strategic trust in a bid to maintain the regional stability and peace which are being challenged by territorial disputes, Indonesian president said here Wednesday.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the third Jakarta International Defense Dialogue, an international forum on how to promote intergovernmental cooperation to meet common threats and challenges.

Yudhoyono said the most pressing challenges in Asia Pacific region are to deal with territorial and jurisdictional disputes which are at the core of flash points.

"Our main challenge in promoting the regional security is how to build strategic trust among countries in our region," he said.

"Strategic trust is what we need to consistently evolve, spread and strengthen across the region," Yudhoyono said, adding that strategic trust is a key challenge in the evolving U.S.-China relations and a major factor in the present state of relations between China and Japan.

Talking about the South China Sea disputes between China and several ASEAN countries, Yudhoyono said he hoped a legally binding Code of Conduct can be finalized and strategic trust can be built and strengthened.

Qi Jianguo, Chinese Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army said in a panel discussion after the opening ceremony that strategic mutual trust is a prerequisite to solve the problems among Asia Pacific countries.

"Only with sincerity and trust can we jointly cope with challenges, manage crises, defuse threats and fundamentally guarantee our survival, development and security." Qi said.

The annual event, with the theme "defense and diplomacy in the Asia Pacific region", lasts for two days and drew 1,300 defense officials, security specialists and military leaders from 38 nations.-Philippines News Agency (March 21, 2013)

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