Vietnam and Belgium boost defence cooperation

Jan 20, 2013- PANO - Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh paid a working visit to Belgian Defence Ministry on January 18th, as part of the official visit to Belgium and the EU of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem received the Vietnamese guest.

General Vinh expressed his pleasure to visit beautiful and hospitable Belgium and thanked the host for a warm welcome.

He said that the results of the talks between Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Belgian Prime Minister had created new conditions and a driving force to boost the bilateral defence cooperation.

While confirming the spirit that Vietnamese Defence Ministry always attaches closely the foreign affairs policy of independence, self-restraint, peace, cooperation and development to the open, diversified and multilateralized policy of the Party and the State’s foreign affairs, General Vinh stressed Vietnam would like to beef up its defence cooperation with other countries, including Belgium.

At the working session, the two sides reviewed their defence cooperation over the past time and highly valued the cooperation efforts of each side.

They also pointed out some orientations to boost the bilateral defence cooperation in the coming time, such as more exchanges of defence delegations at all levels to promote the friendship and mutual understanding; cooperation in engineering, military medicines, UN peace-keeping and defence industry development; considerations for the establishing dialogue mechanism on defence strategies so as to exchange views and share experiences on settling defence-security issues of common concerns; and strengthening the cooperation and exchange channels between the two Defence Ministries and armies as well as promoting the role of Defence Attaches.

Regarding a visit to Vietnam, Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem accepted the invitation from his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phung Quang Thanh.

* A day earlier, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh worked with Walter Stevens, head of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD).

At the working session, the two sides highly spoke of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in August 2012, and the positive outcome of the negotiation process on the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement, seeing it an important foundation to promote the two sides’ cooperation and to pay the way for the defence-security cooperation.

General Vinh hailed EU for its enhanced role and influence in Asia-Pacific and its building of the strategic partnership with ASEAN for EU’s interests and peace, stability and development in the region.

The two sides agreed that Vietnamese Defence Ministry and EU’s foreign affairs agency should organize more exchanges of delegations to boost mutual understanding and establish proper cooperation and mechanism.