‘Terrorism a regional threat’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of National Defence Tea Banh meets Thai Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha on Monday. TEA BANH VIA FACEBOOK

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh warned fellow Asean defence ministers on Sunday that extremism remained the region’s greatest security threat.

“Past experience has shown that no country can solve the terrorist issue alone,” Banh’s official Facebook page quoted him as saying on Sunday at the Sixth Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok.

“We clearly understand that a joint mechanism with partners and cooperation at the regional and international level [is crucial] in the fight against these threats,” said Banh, who is also deputy prime minister.

Banh warned that while the pervasiveness of technology had sprouted many ideas to stimulate economic, social and cultural growth, it “can also have negative effects if it is too widespread and falls into the hands of terrorists”.

Kin Phea, the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on Tuesday that it was critical for Cambodia to strengthen its security capabilities and keep up modern advances.

He said this was necessary to strengthen and deepen collaboration with allies as extremism posed a serious concern at the regional and global levels.

“We must also [increase the] budget for our national defence to see it improve. Knowledge, skills, experiences and training must be regularly strengthened to improve the military’s capacity,” he said.

Banh is to lead a senior ministry delegation in closed-door sessions, according to a ministry press release issued last Thursday.

The press release said that he would exchange views on the region’s environment and security with fellow Asean defence ministers before approving a joint statement on the promotion of partnership for sustainable peace.

Representatives from Asean and the Asean Plus block, which includes China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Netherlands, India, the Russian Federation and the US are also attending the event.