Asean navies boost ties in fleet review

Source: Bangkok Post

The Royal Thai Navy band slogs through the flooded Beach Road in Pattaya Sunday. The parade opened festivities of the International Fleet Review 2017, which official begins today in Pattaya to mark the 50th anniversary of Asean. (Photos by Chanat Katanyu)

PATTAYA: Navy forces in Southeast Asian countries have agreed to bolster cooperation in dealing with security, disasters and environmental threats.

The navy chiefs from nine Asean countries together with representatives from Laos held a meeting Sunday on the sidelines of International Fleet Review (IFR) 2017, hosted by the Thai Navy, which will take place Monday in Pattaya to mark 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Admiral Naris Prathumsuwan, commander of the Thai navy, said the naval forces of the Asean nations would tighten cooperation to deal with emergency situations, disasters, pirates, security threats and also to protect marine ecology and the environment.

They agreed to reinforce their military capability and the trust between each other, he said.

IFR 2017 commemorates the close cooperation among the naval forces of Asean countries and their Asian allies, said Adm Naris.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon presided over a Sunday reception for guests attending the opening of the event at the Dusit Thani Pattaya Hotel in Pattaya. The fleet review and related activities are being held until Nov 22.

Adm Naris said the event is a result of the 8th meeting of the Asean navy commanders in Bangkok, which passed a resolution for the Thai navy to host the International Fleet Review to mark the 50th anniversary of Asean.

On Monday, a total of 40 ships will participate: 15 from Thailand, and 25 from 19 other countries will take part in the fleet review in Pattaya Bay. Gen Prawit’s appearance at the reception was his first since disappearing from view on Tuesday.

He looked unwell, being supported by his guards and responding slowly to reporters’ questions. Gen Prawit, however, insisted he was in good health.

He said he had been on leave for a few days but did not say whether he had travelled abroad.

He also refused to answer questions about a cabinet reshuffle and a report that Gen Chanchai Changmongkol had resigned as a National Legislative Assembly member to join the cabinet.

Source: Bangkok Post