The meetings took place on the occasion of the official visit to France by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, from March 26-28.

At a meeting with Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly on March 27, Senior Lieutenant General Vinh said Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence wants to expand cooperation with their French counterpart for the benefits of the two armies and people and the bilateral strategic partnership.

Vietnam hopes that France, with its significant role and position in the European Union (EU), will make active contributions to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development, ensuring navigation and aviation safety and freedom in the region and around the world, based on a respect for international law.

Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge for France to enhance cooperation with member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said.

He described defence as a key pillar in the bilateral strategic partnership and urged the two countries’ armies to elevate cooperation in this field to a new height, especially in celebration of the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership.

The Deputy Defence Minister proposed specific measures, such as increasing all-level delegation exchanges, sharing defence strategic issues, and promoting cooperation in training, defence industry, military trade, medical military, peacekeeping activities, and post-war consequences settlement, among others.

Agreeing with the Vietnamese leader’s opinions, Minister of Defence Florence Parly showed her belief in the outcomes of bilateral cooperation in the coming time. France will invite the Minister of Defence of Vietnam to pay an official visit to France this year, during which the two countries are expected to sign cooperative documents of significance to the promotion of bilateral cooperation.

Earlier, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh had a working session with Phillippe Errera, Director General for International Relations and Strategy of the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

At the meeting, both sides discussed regional and international situations of shared concern and agreed that current issues should be dealt with through peaceful measures and strict compliance with international law.

The two sides agreed on key orientations to ratchet up bilateral defence ties, provide mutual support at multilateral forums, participation in the UN peacekeeping force, and the possibility of France’s participation in ADMM+, and more.

On the occasion, the two ministries signed a letter of intent on the signing of a joint statement on a shared vision for defence cooperation in the 2018-2020 period, and an agreement amending the cooperation agreement on hydrography, oceanography, and maritime maps.

Vietnam News Agency - 28 mars 2018