Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Văn Giang (second left) reviews guards of honour on his arrival to India. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Lê
NEW DELHI — Officials of Việt Nam and India highlighted the continually enhanced cooperation between the two militaries during talks in New Delhi on Monday.
The event was co-chaired by Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Văn Giang, Chief of the General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army and Deputy Minister of National Defence, and Gen. Bipin Rawat, Chairman of India’s Chiefs of Staff Committee.
The two sides noted with satisfaction that over the past years, on the basis of the countries’ political trust and comprehensive strategic partnership, cooperation between the two militaries have continually been enhanced and reaped numerous important outcomes in multiple fields, especially in training and United Nations peacekeeping.
Giang, who is on an official visit to the South Asian nation, said the fierce strategic competition among big countries in Asia-Pacific has many unpredictable factors that could lead to an arms race and military conflicts. Therefore, that some partners wish to take part in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) illustrates this mechanism’s increasing effectiveness.
However, he noted, in the cooperation within the ADMM and ADMM+, countries must respect the independence, sovereignty and autonomy of ASEAN nations; respect ASEAN’s centrality and contribute to the bloc’s unity; and be responsible for peace, stability, security and safety in the region and the world.
With regard to the East Sea issue, Giang emphasised that Việt Nam resolutely protects its legitimate sovereignty; consistently resolves disputes by peaceful means on the basis on international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; pledges to seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; and have worked towards the finalisation of an effective code of conduct in the waters.
Bilateral issues must be resolved bilaterally while multilateral ones must be handled by the parties concerned, he said, adding that Việt Nam will maintain and promote relations with relevant countries while avoiding collisions and conflicts so as to settle disputes gradually.
Việt Nam strongly condemns and objects to all terrorist acts, and it supports cooperation among countries to eliminate international terrorism, he noted.
Echoing his guest’s opinions, Rawat concurred with Việt Nam on the settlement of international and regional issues.
He affirmed that India always respects and supports peace and prosperous development of all countries, and that it does not interfere in internal affairs of any nations.
At the talks, the two officials agreed to effectively implement the joint vision statement for defence cooperation for 2015-2020 and the agreements between leaders of the two defence ministries.
Việt Nam and India will bolster cooperation between their militaries’ ground forces while fostering ties in fields such as defence industry, personnel training, and experience sharing in UN peacekeeping. They will also strengthen collaboration between agencies for strategic studies, as well as coordination at multilateral forums, according to the officials.
Also on November 25, Sen. Lt. Gen. Giang paid a courtesy call to Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who said Việt Nam is a leading partner in his country’s Act East Policy.
Singh expressed his hope that the two sides will increase mutual visits at all levels and in all the spheres both pay attention to, thus matching the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.
Giang emphasised that Việt Nam highly values the enormous assistance the Indian Government, people and military have given to it, highlighting India’s support for Việt Nam’s policy on the peaceful settlement of the East Sea issue and for the candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
Việt Nam believes that that bilateral friendship and cooperation will develop more intensively, with the armies’ relations being a pillar, for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world, he said.
Briefing his host about the successful talks with the Chairman of India’s Chiefs of Staff Committee, Giang voiced his hope that Minister Singh will create the best possible conditions and direct India’s relevant agencies to work closely with Việt Nam to realise the agreed cooperation plans.
Following the meeting, the officials witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Việt Nam Defence Strategy Institute and the Centre for Land Warfare Studies of India, and another between the Military Technique Academy of Việt Nam and the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology of India. — VNS