WASHINGTON wants military exercises with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), an official of the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Sunday.
Teodoro Torralba, DND assistant secretary for assessments and international affairs, said details of the maritime drills between Asean member-countries and the US would be determined in 2019.
“It will be finalized when Thailand convenes the ADSOM (Asean Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting) working group early next year,” Torralba told reporters in a text message coursed through the DND public affairs service.
Thailand will be hosting the Asean Summit in 2019 while Singapore hosts the 2018 summits and related events.
The Asean-US drills were announced during the 12th Asean Defense Ministers’ Meeting and the Asean Plus Defense Ministers’ Meeting, both held in Singapore.
The Asean Plus consists of Southeast Asian countries, the US, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and India.
Washington’s announcement came amid the ongoing Asean-China maritime drills in Zhanjiang. DEMPSEY REYES