Vietnam, New Zealand agree to boost defence cooperation
On the morning of March 21st, Commander of the Joint Forces of New Zealand, Air Vice Marshal Kenvin Short hosted a grand ceremony to receive the Vietnamese Defence Minister and the visiting delegation at the Joint Force Headquarters of the New Zealand Defence Force in the New Zealander capital city of Wellington.
On the same day, the visiting delegation, led by General Phung Quang Thanh and the host defence delegation led by Minister Jonathan Coleman had a talk.
The visiting Defence Minister thanked the Civil Defence & Emergency Management Ministry of New Zealand and Minister Jonathan Coleman for the esteemed but friendly reception of the Vietnamese defence delegation.
General Thanh confirmed that Vietnam always attached importance to its comprehensive relationship with New Zealand, including defence ties. He hoped that the first-ever visit by a Vietnamese Defence Minister to New Zealand aimed to boost defence ties between the two defence organizations in accordance with comprehensive relations and cooperation between the two nations. The Vietnamese Defence Minister appreciated the cooperation and support, especially in training, from the New Zealander side within the framework of the bilateral defence ties in recent time.
General Thanh proposed that the two sides continue to strengthen bilateral defence ties, especially exchanges of visits at all levels, experience exchanges between military services and arms and training in the future and that consider signing an agreement on defence cooperation and setting up a dialogue mechanism at the deputy defence minister level.
Vietnamese Defence Minister stated that Vietnam, with its open external policy and being active in international integration, always wishes to boost cooperation with New Zealand in multilateral forums, such as ARF and ADMM+, aiming to contribute more to regional peace and stability. He believed that signing an Agreement on Defence Cooperation should actively contribute to strengthening bilateral friendly relations and mutual understanding between the two nations and Armies, in line with interests of both countries and region as a whole.
For his part, Civil Defence & Emergency Management Minister Jonathan Coleman highlighted Vietnam-New Zealand relations and affirmed that New Zealand, as a nation the Asia-Pacific Region, attaches importance to cooperation with Vietnam and regional nations in general. New Zealand highly valued the visit of the top Vietnamese defence delegation headed by the Vietnamese Defence Minister and stating that the visit would make positive contribution to relations between the two nations and defence ties in particular, he affirmed.
Jonathan Coleman highly agreed with the ideas and proposals from the Vietnamese sides and underlined the need to sign an Agreement on Defence Cooperation early. He also stressed that Vietnam and New Zealand are the two maritime countries; therefore, effective defence cooperation between the two countries would contribute to ensuring peace and stability in the region as well as protecting legitimate national maritime interests of each country.
He confirmed that the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management of New Zealand would continue to cooperate with the Vietnam Defence Ministry in training, particularly training English for Vietnamese military personnel, and exchanges of naval experiences. He affirmed that New Zealand supports Vietnam’s idea on forming an international expert group for overcoming the aftermath of bombs, mines and explosives left by wars within the framework of ADMM+, as well as Vietnam’s viewpoint to solve maritime disputes via peaceful solutions and following international law.
On the afternoon, the Vietnamese Defence Minister and delegation had a meeting with the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray Mccully. At the meeting, the host highly valued the country’s relationship with Vietnam and expressed delight with good new developments in defence ties. He said that visit exchanges as well as defence cooperation play an important role in expanding cooperation between the two nations. He affirmed that he would strongly support the contents of defence cooperation between the two defence organizations and provide favorable conditions for bilateral defence ties between Vietnam and New Zealand to develop.
Vietnamese Defence Minister, General Phung Quang Thanh thanked the New Zealander Foreign Affairs Minister for his reception. He briefed the results of the talk between the two Defence Ministers and affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to comprehensive relations with New Zealand and that the Vietnamese government and people wish to bring the bilateral defence ties to a new level in line with bilateral political and economic relations.
During the visit, the Vietnamese Defence Minister and delegation met and had talks with Commander of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and Defence Secretary Helene Quilter, as well as visited the New Zealand Defence College.
Translated by Thu Nguyen