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European countries interest in Asian Security Summit VNTimes


The Defence Ministers of France, Germany and the UK, the Swedish ForeignMinister and senior defence officers of Russia and Azerbaijan willattend the 12th Asian Security Summit IISS (or Shangri-La Dialogue) tobe held in Singapore from May 31 to June 2.

Convened by theLondon-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), theShangri-La Dialogue is the key forum for the discussion and analysis ofdefence and security issues in the region and beyond.

Theparticipation in the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue of four Europeanministers, including the 'Big Three' European defence ministers, namelyFrench, German and British; the High Representative for Foreign Affairsand Security Policy for the European Union, Catherine Ashton; and theChairman of NATO's Military Committee, General Knud Bartels, reflectsspecial European interest in security issues in Asia.

In thisconnection, Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of theIISS, said: “European military expenditure may be in decline butdefence diplomacy in the Asia- Pacific cannot be ignored.”

Accordingto the IISS, 31 countries are represented at this year’s Dialogue,namely Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada,China, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republicof Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, thePhilippines, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand,Timor-Leste, UAE, the UK, the US, and Vietnam.

Vietnamese PrimeMinister Nguyen Tan Dung will deliver a keynote address at the May 31opening ceremony which will also be attended by senior defence officersof participant countries, including the Defence Ministers of all the tenASEAN member countries, the three above-mentioned European countries,and Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the US.

Theagenda includes five plenary sessions on the US Approach to RegionalSecurity; Defending National Interests, Preventing Conflict; MilitaryModernisation and Strategic Transparency; New Trends in Asia-PacificSecurity; and Advancing Defence Cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

USSecretary of Defense Chuck Hagel; Deputy Chief of the General Staff ofthe People’s Liberation Army of China Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo;High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for theEuropean Union Catherine Ashton will speak in the plenary sessions,among others.

The Dialogue will also host six special sessions onAvoiding Incidents at Sea; Afghan Drawdown and Regional Security;Missile Defence in the Asia-Pacific; New Military Technologies andDoctrines; Defence Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention; and CyberDimension to Asian Security.-VNA

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