Viet Nam News
PARIS – Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch and his French counterpart Florence Parly signed a joint vision statement on defence cooperation for 2018-28 at their talks in Paris on Tuesday as part of the former’s ongoing visit to France.
During the talks, Minister Parly affirmed that her country highly values the role of Việt Nam in the region and the world, and attaches great importance to developing bilateral ties with the Southeast Asian country.
Minister Lịch said that his visit is part of activities to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Việt Nam and France and five years of the bilateral strategic partnership. It aims to realise outcomes of the official visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng to France in March this year, he said.
The minister showed his delight at the comprehensive and effective development in bilateral relations in all fields, including politics-diplomacy, economy-trade, defence-security, culture, education, science, justice and healthcare.
During the talks, the two sides shared their views on regional and international matters of shared concern.
The French Defence Minister stated that France shared the stance with many countries on the need to ensure maritime and overflight security, safety and freedom on the foundation of international law.
She added that France will continue making contributions to the maintenance of an environment of peace, stability and development in areas in which the country has interests.
The two ministers agreed that all disputes must be settled peacefully in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
Minister Lịch declared that France is an important partner of Việt Nam, adding that Việt Nam highly appreciates the role of France in the world arena, and supports the European country in strengthening bilateral and multilateral partnership with the ASEAN as well as joining ASEAN mechanisms.
Việt Nam hopes that France will continue to actively contribute to peace, stability and development in the region where ASEAN is playing a central role, he stated.
The two ministers highly valued the positive developments in the Việt Nam-France defence co-operation, stressing that defence ties are one of the pillars of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Since the two sides signed the Việt Nam-France agreement on defence co-operation in 2009, bilateral defence ties have achieved important results.
Especially, after Việt Nam and France upgraded their relations to Strategic Partnership, the two countries have paid more attention to promoting their defence collaboration, and reached practical results in terms of exchange of strategic views, training, and UN peace-keeping operation participation, defence industry, and military medicine.
The two sides agreed to improve the efficiency of existing co-operation mechanisms and seek ways to enhance co-operation in the fields of their strengths and those of common concern.
The ministers signed a joint vision statement on defence co-operation in 2018-28, and an agreement on amending the ViệtNam-France co-operation agreement signed in 2009.
They said the joint vision statement aims to deepen the defence bond, thus promoting the Việt Nam-France Strategic Partnership; and affirmed their goodwill to continue promoting co-operation in a long-term and effective manner based on respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and laws of each country.
Through the statement, the two countries are to promote common concerns, thus reinforcing and stepping up mutual trust towards expanding co-operation, maintaining security and stability in the region and the world; ensuring compliance of international law, freedom of travel on land, sea and air routes; and coping with non-traditional security threats, with the impact caused by climate change and environmental degradation for security taken into account.
To implement the above-mentioned co-operation orientations, the two sides will maintain regular visits and meetings at all levels; increase high-level exchanges and diversify mechanisms for bilateral consultations on international and regional security issues of mutual concern.
The two countries will intensify co-operation and mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums and foster the bilateral and multilateral partnership to contribute to promoting peace and security in each region.
They also agreed to support each other in capacity building and share experience in peacekeeping operations and strengthen collaboration in the fields of defence industry, military medicine and hydrography.
The two sides will focus on enhancing co-operation in maritime security and safety as well as non-traditional security issues; and exchanging experience and seeking new opportunities to co-operate in environmental security.
The two ministers emphasised their desire to bolster co-operation in the defence industry which will stay in line with the needs of Việt Nam and strengths of France. Minister Lịch said the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence will facilitate defence enterprises from France to look for opportunities in Việt Nam.
He noted that the signing of the joint vision statement will take bilateral defence co-operation to new heights, contributing to deepening ties between the two nations. – VNS