Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch meets his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan in Ottawa, Canada on May 6. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Quang Thinh
OTTAWA — Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch and his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan have expressed their belief that bilateral defence ties will progress, helping enrich the Việt Nam-Canada comprehensive partnership.
The two ministers shared the view during their talks in Ottawa on May 6 as part of the official visit to Canada from May 4-12 by General Lịch, Politburo member and Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission.
Minister Harjit spoke highly of the general’s visit, the first of its kind by a Vietnamese Defence Minister since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1973.
Lich voiced his belief that the visit will be a success, significantly contributing to promoting the two countries' comprehensive partnership.
The two sides brought up regional and international issues of shared concern.
Harjit said Canada will cooperate with relevant countries to contribute to peace, stability and development in Asia-Pacific.
Regarding territorial sovereignty disputes, including those in the East Sea, the two ministers stressed that these disputes must be addressed by peaceful means and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), soon reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), thus contributing to regional peace, stability and development.
They noted with pleasure the development of the bilateral defence ties, especially in training for and participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
Lịch took the occasion to thank the Canadian side for its scholarships in English and peacekeeping for Vietnamese officers under the Military Training Cooperation Programme.
Host and guest agreed to enhance collaboration in dialogues, consultations, personnel training, peacekeeping operations, defence industry, cyber security, search and rescue operations, and maritime security.
Việt Nam welcomes Canada’s ships to pay friendly visits to the country and engage in joint activities during the visits like search and rescue operations and the practice of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).
The ministers agreed to push up cooperation in law enforcement between coast guards of the two countries.
Lịch suggested the Canadian Department of National Defence urge the Canadian Government to assist Việt Nam in the settlement of post-war consequences, including bomb and mine clearance and dioxin detoxification.
In multilateral defence cooperation, Lịch lauded Canada’s role and position in the region and the world as well as the country’s policy towards ASEAN.
Việt Nam will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship and host the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) in 2020, he said, calling for Canada’s support in this regard.
Việt Nam backs Canada to become a responsible partner in defence in ASEAN and hopes that the country will make more contributions to peace, friendship and cooperation in the region and the world at large, Lịch said.
At the end of their talks, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and the Canadian Department of National Defence.
While in Canada, Lịch met with David Morrison, Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister, who applauded Việt Nam's role and position in the region and hoped for stronger cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation in all spheres, covering national defence. Lịch said Việt Nam always wishes to enhance the relations with Canada, and highly values the country’s viewpoints on regional issues and law observance, for peace and development in the region and the world as well. — VNA