US defence secretary calls for cooperation in maritime security

Thai officials on Monday assured U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that violence in their country’s Muslim-dominated south was being addressed and wasn’t tied to global terrorists, while Rumsfeld urged more cooperation against sea piracy, the Thai defence minister said. Rumsfeld appealed to Thailand and other countries in the region to step up their teamwork with the U.S. in fighting piracy, especially in the Malacca Strait, where the problem has worsened recently, said Thailand’s defence minister, Gen. Thammarak Isarangura Na Ayutthaya, after meeting with Rumsfeld on Monday.