Vietnam Steps up Defence Ties with US, UK
|Vietnam, US to further cooperate in war legacy relief|
|Vietnam, US consents to further strengthen bilateral relations|
|Vietnam, US join hands in resolving war legacy|
|US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Photo: AFP|
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will pay an official visit to Vietnam on July 28-29 at the invitation of Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang.
Vietnamese foreign ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said on July 22 that the visit will contribute to strengthening friendship and trust between the two peoples and armies, implementing agreements reached by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders, and furthering the framework of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.
The US Department of Defence and the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence are scheduled to discuss ways to enhance relations between the two countries, realise agreements reached by their high-ranking leaders, and promote the comprehensive partnership, Hang was cited by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
The visit, part of a Southeast Asian tour with stops in the Philippines and Singapore in addition to Vietnam, is the first one to the region by a top official of the Biden-Harris administration.
It would demonstrate the importance it places on the region and on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an essential part of the Indo-Pacific architecture, Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby said.
"This trip will underscore the enduring U.S. commitment to the region, and our interest in upholding the rules-based international order in the region and promoting ASEAN centrality."
Vietnam, UK vow to boost defense cooperation
|Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phan Van Giang welcomes UK Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
Meanwhile, Secretary of State for Defense Robert Ben Lobban Wallace leads a high-ranking UK defense delegation to pay an official visit to Vietnam from July 21-23 at the invitation of Minister Giang.
During their talks on July 22, the officials exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared concern, People’s Army Newspaper reported.
|Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phan Van Giang and UK Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace at the reception. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
|Vietnamese Defence Minister Phan Van Giang and UK Secretary of State for Defence inspect Guards-of-Honor of the Vietnam People’s Army. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
The British side shared Vietnam’s views on the approaches to the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) issue, underlining the significance of freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters.
The UK also stressed the need to respect international law, saying that all maritime disputes among parties should be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
The two sides agreed that the bilateral relationship has been lifted to a higher level in all fields such as politics, economics, trade, culture and education, and the bilateral defense cooperation has made progress.
|The two delegations at the bilateral talks. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
For defense relations, they have basically completed cooperation deals despite Covid-19 pandemic. Particularly, the two sides have maintained the defense policy dialogue mechanism, delegation exchange, English training for Vietnamese servicepersons, visits of vessels of the UK Royal Navy to Vietnam and experience sharing in UN peacekeeping operations, which has contributed positively to the development of the UK- Vietnam strategic partnership.
The officials consented to boost defense cooperation in the time ahead with a focus on delegation exchange, English training for Vietnamese servicepersons and efficient maintenance of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, notably the Deputy-Ministerial Defense Policy Dialogue and the UK - Vietnam Defence Working Group.
They also concurred to strengthen cooperation in hydrography, UN peacekeeping operations and defense industry, and to support each other at multilateral forums.
|Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phan Van Giang (2nd from left) at the talks. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
The Vietnamese side expressed its support for the UK to join the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus on the basis of the ASEAN members’ unanimity, and encouraged the UK in expanding cooperation with ASEAN, including defence cooperation.
During the talks, General Giang spoke highly Wallace’s visit to Vietnam on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation between Vietnam and the UK.
The visit is taking place in the context of the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world and in both countries, which, he said, reconfirms the goodwill, effort and determination of the two countries to strengthen the bilateral ties in general and bilateral defence cooperation in particular.
|UK Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace talking with Vietnamese officers returning from UN peacekeeping missions. Photo: People’s Army Newspaper|
The Vietnamese minister noted his belief that the bilateral defence cooperation will further develop in the fields of the two sides’ interest and in accordance with the benefits of each nation.
General Giang took the chance to thank the UK Government for sharing experience in pandemic prevention and control and putting the country on the list of priority recipients of Covid-19 vaccines.
He suggested the UK Secretary of State for Defence support Vietnam to soon access vaccine supplies. /.
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