To improve counterterrorism cooperation among ASEAN members, the defense secretary proposed to convene a tabletop exercise to discuss lessons learned from the campaign to defeat ISIS, as well as a workshop on regional terrorist threats at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, she said.
Sitharaman who was addressing the 4TH Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus in the Philippines said that the nuclear and missile tests conducted by Kim Jong-un ruled North Korea, in violation of its worldwide commitments, have triggered serious concern.
Issues relating to the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar would also be on the agenda of the meeting, which runs today and tomorrow, he said.
"Meeting participants recognized the importance of the ADMM-Plus as an inclusive platform for high-level discussions of strategic defense and security matters including North Korea, terrorism and maritime security, as well as to promote practical cooperation and confidence-building among their defense establishments", she said.
"Maritime security continues to be another key concern". India supports freedom of navigation, overflight and commerce throughout the region. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea where there are counter claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan. "Terrorism and radicalisation pose one of the most immediate and serious security challenges to our societies".
The defence minister added that India fully recognize the role of joint mechanisms with its partners and the role of global and regional forums in fighting the menace of terrorism. These include India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States.