Region Needs Plan to Fight Terrorism, Sar Kheng Says

The Sept 11 terrorist attacks in the US have added “a new dimension” to regional and global ap­proaches to police work, co-Min­ister of Interior Sar Kheng said Tuesday.

Sar Kheng spoke to delegates at the 22nd annual Asean international police conference, saying the terror attacks serve as a stark reminder that more needs to be done to combat crime.

“It was not an attack directed against America alone, but on human civilization. This problem requires the international community to strengthen cooperation to fight terrorism around the globe,” Sar Kheng said.

Delegates should focus on a regional plan to combat terrorism, Sar Kheng said.

If nothing else, the fallout of the terror attacks, which prompted the ongoing war in Afghanistan, should force Asean member states to think globally even as they act locally, he said.

Other priorities for Asean mem­­ber states, which could also be linked to the fight against terrorism, include drug trafficking, money laundering and the arms trade, Sar Kheng said, noting that Asean has committed to making the region drug-free by 2015.

The conference is sched­uled to end Thursday. Last year’s meeting was held in Vien­tiane.

On Sunday, Sar Kheng and a high-level delegation returned from border security and police cooperation talks in Hanoi.

The issue of Vietnamese Mon­tag­nards, hundreds of whom have fled into Ratanakkiri and Mondolkiri provinces from Viet­nam’s Central Highlands since early last year, was not discussed at the annual meeting, Sar Kheng told reporters Sunday night at Pochentong Airport.

Border de­lineation, another long-standing issue between the two countries, also was not discussed.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Monday the talks had been held as part of the usual reaffirmation of a cooperation agreement.


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