|The welcome ceremony for UK Defence Secretary Robert Ben Lobban Wallace. VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s Minister of National Defence General Phan Văn Giang chaired a welcome ceremony and held talks with UK Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace in Hà Nội on Thursday.
They agreed that in recent years, bilateral cooperation had been lifted, with many achievements in politics, economy, trade, culture and education.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, the two sides have basically completed agreed cooperation aims, such as maintaining policy dialogue, stepping up delegation exchanges, training in English language for Vietnamese officers, and sharing experience in UN peacekeeping missions, thus contributing to the two countries’ strategic partnership.
They agreed to continue to promote defence ties with a focus on the exchange of delegations, implementation of existing cooperation such as the Defence Policy Dialogue at the deputy ministerial level and the bilateral working group on defence cooperation, English language training for Vietnamese officers and participation in UN peacekeeping missions.
Việt Nam supports UK participation in the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus on the basis of ASEAN consensus, as well as UK collaboration with ASEAN, including in military defence.
The two ministers also exchanged views on the world and regional situations and issues of mutual concern.
The British side shared Việt Nam’s views on solving the East Sea issue, affirming the importance of navigation and aviation freedom, supporting the rule of law, and emphasising that disputes need to be settled by peaceful means, based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Minister General Phan Văn Giang expressed his pleasure to welcome and hold talks with his British counterpart in Hà Nội amid the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move affirms the goodwill, efforts and determination of the two countries in promoting cooperation, he said.
He also thanked the British Government for sharing experience in coronavirus prevention and control, and putting Việt Nam on the priority list of vaccines. He also suggested that Wallace, within his authority, help the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence in gaining access to vaccines.
During his Việt Nam visit from July 21-23, the UK Secretary of State for Defence is scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, visit the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam and the Việt Nam National Border Committee, and have a meeting with several officers who participated in UN peacekeeping missions. VNS