MANILA–The Euro-pean Union (EU) on Tues-day, said that it is working towards a strategic part-nership with the Associa-tion of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that would further strengthen security cooperation to thwart terrorism and violent extremism.
“The EU fully supports ASEAN’s efforts and its mission. We are working towards a strategic part-nership to encompass not only trade, investment and sectoral cooperation but also more security coope-ration,” European Council President Donald Tusk said at the 40th Anniversary of the ASEAN-EU Comme-morative Summit.
Tusk said that the new ASEAN-EU plan of action would contribute to this goal.
“We remain committed to a strong and cohesive ASEAN developing in its own character, in the best interest of regional prospe-rity, stability and security,” Tusk said.
According to Tusk, ASEAN and EU can work together, particularly through information-sha-ring to counter terrorist attacks and violent extre-mism.
“Terrorist ideologies have spread across conti-nents. We can mitigate the threat if we work together, sharing information on suspects and trends of concern,” Tusk said.
“ASEAN and the EU are already developing anti-terror cooperation through information sharing via Interpol and Europol and the exchange of best prac-tices on dealing with violent extremism,” he said.
“We, in Europe, are grateful to be able to draw on the considerable expe-rience ASEAN countries have on this issue,” he added.
Tusk also noted that EU and the ASEAN are working together on tackling other threats such as smuggling and human trafficking.
“Beyond counter-ter-rorism, we have coope-rated since 2012 on tackling a variety of other threats. Last June, we had ASEAN representatives visiting the headquarters of the EU’s anti-smuggling naval mission Operation Sophia which targets people smug-glers and trafficking net-works in the Mediterra-nean,” he said. PND