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Asean, partners to enhance cooperation in combating transnational crime

IANS | Vientiane |

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and dialogue partners committed to enhance their cooperation efforts in combating transnational crimes in a bid to maintain security at and across borders in the region.

The 17th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) and its related meetings kicked off on Wednesday in Lao capital Vientiane in support of ASEAN-centered regional and international cooperation efforts, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting was attended by delegates from 10 Asean member-countries and dialogue partners including China, Japan, South Korea, India, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada and the US.

The meeting aims to enhance cooperation in combating transnational crime by improving security at borders and immigration checkpoints across the Asean region.

In his opening remarks, Lao Minister of Public Security Major General Somkeo Silavong said the meeting was important to review the past implementation of cooperation among Asean and its dialogue partners.

"We will also discuss the future plan for enhancing cooperation on transnational crimes to ensure it declines in its entirety," he was quoted by Lao state-run media Vientiane Times as saying, adding that transnational crimes remain a threat for socio-economic development as well as the public and societal security across the region.