Thailand will play host to a parade of Southeast Asia’s naval firepower Sunday as warships from the region gather for the first time for a fleet review aimed at celebrating 50 years of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), organizers said.
More than 40 modern ships, including 26 from the Southeast Asian region, will be on display Sunday for the International Fleet Review around Pattaya Bay in Chonburi province, 84 km (53 miles) southeast of Bangkok, event officials said.
“This is the first time that navies from 10 ASEAN countries would gather for a multilateral exercise,” Adm. Luechai Ruddit, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy told a news conference last week. “This is a very important exercise to learn and get to know each other.”
Battleships representing the United States, Russia, China and South Korea will also participate, organizers said.
ASEAN, which recorded U.S. $2.2 trillion in regional trade last year, was formed in Bangkok on Aug. 8, 1967 with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as founding members. It has since expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
The fleet review highlights the 10-day naval event that began on Nov. 13 and will include bilateral meetings of ASEAN naval commanders, during which officials will share ideas on improving capabilities and discuss regional security threats.
Full story: BenarNews
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