Deputy Defence Minister Sen Lieut Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia of the US Dr. Joseph Felter witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Việt Nam Defence Strategy Institute and the US-based Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies. – VNA/VNS Photo Đoàn Hùng
WASHINGTON – Deputy Defence Minister Sen Lieut Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia of the US Dr. Joseph Felter co-chaired the Việt Nam-US defence policy dialogue 2017 in Washington DC on Tuesday.
The two sides detailed security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, and discussed solutions to foster bilateral co-operation within the Việt Nam-US comprehensive partnership.
They also discussed world and regional issues of mutual concern. Both sides evaluated their co-operation in 2017 and sketched out plans for next year and beyond in compliance with a memorandum of understanding on strengthening defence co-operation signed in 2011 and a declaration on defence affiliation from 2015.
They also sought to realise agreements between the two defence ministries reached during Defence Minister General Ngô Xuân Lịch’s visit to the US in August 2017.
Addressing the dialogue, Vịnh said that Việt Nam has launched its Peacekeeping Centre in Hà Nội and highlighted potential for tires in military medicine, especially with Việt Nam preparing to launch a level-two field hospital as part of its UN peacekeeping mission.
He lauded bilateral co-operation in seeking information and remains of Vietnamese and US soldiers who died during wars, saying it is a highlight in the two countries’ defence ties and affirming Việt Nam has full capacity to search for missing-in-action (MIA) US servicemen.
Vịnh proposed that the US Defence Department continue supporting the implementation of bilateral agreements in clearing unexploded ordnance, while encouraging international organisations to engage in the work.
He said that the dioxin detoxification at Đà Nẵng Airport has finished, adding that the Vietnamese side will announce the completion of the project in early November in Đà Nẵng City during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week with the participation of US President Donald Trump, and other foreign leaders.
An international conference will also be held to share Việt Nam’s experience in the work, he said, calling for continued US support for a similar project in Biên Hòa Airport in Đồng Nai province.
For his part, Dr Felter said that the US agrees with Việt Nam’s proposals on co-operation in coast guard units, military medicine, peacekeeping, and dioxin detoxification.
The US side suggested that Việt Nam continue joining bilateral and multilateral forums to prepare for its role as ASEAN Chair in 2020.
Present in at dialogue, Fern Sumpter Winbush, Principal Director for the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency lauded Việt Nam’s collaboration and support in MIA search efforts. She thanked the Vietnamese side for handing over documents relating to MIA soliders and supporting joint search teams.
Following the dialogue, general Vịnh and Dr Felter witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Việt Nam Defence Strategy Institute and the US-based Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies.
Vịnh also handed over to the US side two sets of documents supporting the MIA search. Meanwhile Dr Felter gave Vịnh the personal belongings of a Vietnamese soldier who died during the war with hope that he will bring it to the martyrs’ family.— VNS