JAKARTA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia sets up a plan to hold a joint naval exercise, inviting navies from ASEAN countries and those beyond the region, in a bid to boost regional stability, media quoting officer reported here on Friday.
Indonesian Navy chief of staff Vice Admiral Marsetio said on Thursday that the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) would pitch the plan during the International Maritime Security Symposium in Jakarta in December. The forum is expected to draw more than 45 navy chiefs from around the world.
"We would like to give a short briefing that we have a plan to conduct the multilateral exercise. For the first step, we would like to invite all ASEAN members. It could also be ASEAN plus two, three or 10 (partner countries)," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.
The officer said that the drill was expected to help the region deal with a wide range of maritime security challenges, including territorial disputes, transnational crimes, safety of sea transportation and catastrophes.
"The important issue is how the countries in the region can enhance their humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts," he said on the sidelines of Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD) 2013.
Rear Admiral Anne Cullerre, joint commander of armed forces in French Polynesia, welcomed the idea of a naval exercise in Southeast Asia.
"I think the proposal for the exercise is good. More people will talk and work together. It would encourage greater cooperation and interoperability," she said at the JIDD.
During a discussion at the forum, Indonesian Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto warned that energy and food scarcities could pose a threat to security and stability in the region.
"Looking at the rapid growth of populations, leaders must ensure uninterrupted supplies of food, energy and water for their people. A failure to fulfill these needs could become a potential source of conflict," said Suyanto.