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ASEAN sets key players for summit

Global heavyweights Russia, China and the United States will be on hand for the sixth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ summit hosted by Cambodia in February, officials said on Friday.

Policy and Foreign Affairs Department chief General Nim Sowath said that five other non-ASEAN states will also attend the summit, which will be held in Phnom Penh.

The summit agenda will be spread out over a few months, Nim Sowath said, adding that 14 meetings are slated for February, followed by monthly meetings until the summit closes in May with a high-profile event chaired by Defence Minister Tea Banh.

“We will make cooperation a priority [and] solve some emerging problems confronting ASEAN such as emergency disaster relief, anti-terrorism strategies and military cooperation,” Nim Sowath said.

His comments follow a commentary released by the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit last week titled “‘Experts’ subjective and derogatory opinion”.  The commentary was a rejoinder to the remarks of two Indonesian political experts who questioned Cambodia’s ability to come to a “neutral resolution” on border issues

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