Australia and the ASEAN bloc agreed during a weekend summit in Sydney to bolster the fight against terrorism and maintain efforts to keep regional peace amid territorial disputes, officials said Monday.
The special meeting between host Australia and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was supposed to focus more on trade, but longstanding overlapping territorial claims between China and several ASEAN countries also took center stage, according to regional diplomats.
“We unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” said a joint statement issued at the end of the summit on Sunday.
“We reiterate our commitment to work together even more closely to enhance regional cooperation to counter terrorism, including to prevent and suppress the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in our region,” the statement said.
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