Vietnam, France look towards stronger defence partnership

The first Vietnam-France defence cooperation and strategy dialogue has wrapped up successfully, contributing to the development of mutual understanding and creating a foundation for stronger defence ties.
At the dialogue (Photo: VNA)
At the dialogue (Photo: VNA)

The dialogue took place during the working trip to France by Deputy Minister of Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, from July 1 to 4.

It is an important mechanism in the bilateral defence cooperation, which aims to implement effectively the outcomes of the high-level visit to France by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018 and the visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in November 2018, as well as realise the strategic vision on Vietnam-France defence cooperation signed by the two countries’ defence ministers in 2018.

Sen. Lieut. Gen Vinh said the dialogue is meant to implement the outcomes gained during the official visit to France by Minister of National Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich, in September 2018.

This is the first time the two sides has deployed the new cooperation mechanism that is based on the previous mechanism of the joint commission on defence cooperation, he said.

The elevation of the dialogue proves the development of the Vietnam-France strategic partnership, enabling the two countries to develop their defence partnership in a more practical and effective manner, he added.

Vietnam will support France to join regional security architectures such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) once the country gains agreement from ASEAN as well as meets the bloc’s criteria, he said.

He added that Vietnam always backs multinational efforts in maintaining peace, stability and cooperation for common development in the region.

Vietnam serves as a bridge to connect France with other nations in the region, especially ASEAN member states, he said.

For his part, Vice Admiral Hervé de Bonnaventure, Deputy Director General for International Relations and Strategy, said France highly values the role and position of Vietnam in the region and hopes to promote the bilateral defence collaboration to contribute to regional peace, stability and development.

He called on Vietnam to support France to partake in regional security mechanisms and enhance relations with Asian-Pacific countries, especially in 2020 when Vietnam will take the role of the rotated Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

During his working visit to France, Vinh paid a courtesy visit to Geneviève Darrieussecq, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces.

The two sides agreed to set up a working group involving military history experts of both countries to exchange information and memories of the Indochina war as well as share responsibilities with war veterans and their relatives.

The Vietnamese officer also met with Bernard Rogel, Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic, to talk about Vietnam-France defence ties.

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