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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cambodia hosts international seminar on maritime security operations

PHNOM PENH, Military officials from 23 countries in Asia-Pacific region and the United States met here on Thursday for a 10-day seminar on maritime security operations.

The so-called MPAT TE-19 (Multinational Planning Augmentation Team Tempest Express-19), focused on maritime security operations, was sponsored by the U.S Pacific Command.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the United States Ambassador to Cambodia Carol A. Rodley said that the seminar focuses on how all nations deal with transnational threats in maritime domain.

"Transnational threats in maritime security have caused harms to our whole economies and have been threatening the effectiveness and efficiency of the work performance and the well-being of our people," she said.

"To deal with this issue, it does not just start with the military alone, but it requires coordination and cooperation between government agencies and there must involvement from all those who live and work at near the water including the fishermen, shipping companies, local police to partner nations."

"With all parties' cooperation, it will help ensure the efforts with maximum results in ending conflicts, stopping piracy, or halting terrorism, criminal activities in maritime domain," she added.

Lieutenant General Nim Sovath, chief of Cambodia Defense Ministry's Department of Politics and Foreign Affairs, said that the MPAT TE-19 is in line with the policy of the royal government of Cambodia to ensure maritime security, sovereignty, territory and economic development.

"Through this maritime security operations exercise, I believe that participants will receive good experiences and ideas in defending maritime borders against criminal activities such as terrorism and trans-border crimes, illegal fishing and so on," he said.

The Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) Program is a cooperative multinational effort to facilitate the rapid and effective establishment and/or augmentation of a multinational task force headquarters.

The MPAT provides responsive coalition/combined expertise in crisis action planning. (PNA/Xinhua)

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