General Ngô Xuân Lịch, Politburo member and Minister of National Defence (left) and Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the EU side sign the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) in Belgium’s capital of Brussels on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Chung
BRUSSELS — Việt Nam and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement on the establishment of a framework for Việt Nam’s participation in crisis management activities of the EU.
General Ngô Xuân Lịch, Politburo member and Minister of National Defence and Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the EU side signed the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) in Belgium’s capital of Brussels on Thursday.
The signing of the FPA marked an important milestone in bilateral defence relations, contributing to enhancing the Việt Nam-EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation.
The FPA serves as a foundation for the signing of specific co-operation deals between the two sides.
It also paves the way for Việt Nam to join humanitarian crisis management activities, based on principles of the UN Charter and international law, of which the most important principle is the right to select areas and level of participation suitable with the partner’s external policies, demands and capability.
Based on that principle, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence has chosen to work with the EU in establishing a defence policy dialogue with the European External Action Service, training, participating in UN peacekeeping activities and addressing post-war consequences.
For the EU, the signing of the FPA will help promote co-operation with Việt Nam, making it easier for the union to strengthen ties with the Asia-Pacific region.
After the signing ceremony, Minister Lich had a meeting with Mogherini, during which the two sides affirmed their determination to boost the bilateral defence partnership to increase mutual understanding and support the regional security architecture, with the ASEAN playing the central role.
The two sides agreed to step up co-operation in coping with common security challenges, including non-traditional ones such as search and rescue, and combating piracy and armed robbery targeting ships, organised crime and trafficking, in accordance with international law.
Mogherini said the EU and its members are concerned about the complex situation in the East Sea.
The EU called on involved parties to comply with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The EU supports negotiations to reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in a transparent manner for the interests of countries in the region and partner nations, she said.
Earlier on October 16, Minister Lich met with Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (CEUMC), General Claudio Graziano. — VNS