Hanoi, Paris strive for strategic defense dialogue

07.06.2016

Vietnam and France have agreed to establish a strategic defense dialogue to further boost bilateral defense cooperation between the two nations.

General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, held talks on Monday with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, part of the latter’s official visit to the Southeast Asian country.

The trip was aimed at reviewing the results of defense cooperation between Vietnam and France and discussing measures to boost bilateral ties in the future, contributing to the enhancement of the friendly relationship and mutual trust between the two armies and peoples.

During the conversation, Minister Lich praised the essential role of France in Europe and the world, asserting that Hanoi would always respect its strategic partnership with Paris.

Vietnam is willing to assist France in spurring its cooperation with other ASEAN member states, the Vietnamese general added.

ASEAN is short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a political and economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Responding to his host, Minister Le Drian said that Vietnam’s role and position had become increasingly important in the international arena, especially within ASEAN.

Regarding Vietnam-France bilateral defense cooperation, the two officials agreed that there had been positive developments in several aspects of the ties, including delegation exchange, military training and medicine, bathymetry, the defense industry, and the procurement of equipment among others.

The two parties reached consensus on continuing to cement their effective collaboration in traditional fields, and the potential of a strategic defense dialogue to deepen future ties in defense and security.  

The two nations will also support each other in executing peacekeeping operations set by the United Nations, and provide Vietnamese and French defense businesses with favorable conditions.

Minister Le Drian reiterated the message he delivered at the Shangri-La Dialogue, which took place in Singapore from June 3 to 5, in which he addressed the importance of peaceful measures and international law, primarily the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in the settlement of martime disputes.

During his speech at the security meeting, the French official stated that the situation in the East Vietnam Sea had been a concern to Europe and the international community.

If the law of the sea is not respected in the maritime area, then sovereignty in the Mediterranean Sea and Arctic Ocean could also be challenged, he elaborated.

The French minister stated that he would work with the European Union to carry out measures to ensure security, safety, and freedom in the East Vietnam Sea, in accordance with international law.

Paris will also urge European naval forces to increase their regular and clear presence in the waterway in order to control the risk of confrontation and protect the interests of the region and the world.

Minister Le Drian also met with Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang on the same day, addressing Vietnam’s independent, multilateral and diversified foreign policies, the Vietnam News Agency reported,     

Hanoi prioritizes the strengthening of cooperation with its partners, including France, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a power with great influence in the Asia-Pacific region, according to President Quang.

The Vietnamese head of state looked forward to the upcoming visit of his French counterpart, François Hollande, and hoped that several important agreements would be signed during his stay.

Source: Tuoi Tre News

Photo : Tuoi Tre News