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VietNamNews

Talks confront regional issues

Update: June, 04/2012 - 09:30

SINGAPORE — The Vietnamese delegation to the 11th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore has had bilateral meetings to promote ties with India, China, the US, Singapore, Australia, Canada, the UK and the European Union.

The two-day dialogue, which ended yesterday, focused on a series of urgent issues in Asia and the Pacific, such as regional security and maritime freedom.

At a meeting with Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Snr Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh reaffirmed Viet Nam wanted to boost its strategic partnership with India, which included defence as a pillar.

Vinh, who is head of the Vietnamese delegation to the dialogue, asked India to continue helping Viet Nam in defence training and the defence industry.

Antony said increasing relations with Viet Nam was a priority in India's "Look East" policy.

Antony expressed his wish that Viet Nam would support India at multilateral forums.

The two sides agreed to work closely together to organise the deputy defence ministerial level dialogue in India later this year.

Antony accepted an invitation to visit Viet Nam from Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh, conveyed by Vinh.

At the bilateral meetings, the Vietnamese delegation and their partners shared viewpoints on regional security, including the East Sea issue, along with measures to promote defence co-operation.

They emphasised the importance of maritime safety and freedom and agreed on the need to solve issues in the East Sea peacefully, in accordance with international laws, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as regional commitments reached by ASEAN member countries and partner nations.

Agreeing with the countries' viewpoints, Vinh noted that consensus in understanding and interpretation of international laws was needed in order to avoid "double standards".

He also affirmed that coastal countries' sovereignty rights over the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles must be strictly observed.

He added that while no use of force or threat to use force was the prerequisite condition in solving disputes at sea, countries should also not use or threaten to use "soft" strength, such as economic blockage.

Disputes on sovereignty at sea needed to be solved directly among concerned parties and in a public and transparent manner in an international environment, Vinh said. — VNS

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