|Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh (left) and Chairman of the EU Military Committee Mikhail Kostarakos
Speaking at a recent meeting of EU chiefs of defence in Belgium as an honorary guest, Vinh said Vietnam is scheduled to run the level-2 field hospital in Bentiu, South Sudan in the second quarter of this year to replace the UK’s level-2 field hospital.
In 2019 or 2020, Vietnam will dispatch a peacekeeping military engineer unit to a suitable mission, the deputy minister added.
Applauding the EU’s contributions to peacekeeping, Vinh affirmed that Vietnam will make more contributions to UN peacekeeping operations within its capacity and foreign polices.
He noted that after nearly four years of joining UN peacekeeping operations, Vietnam has sent 20 officers to work at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic and the UN Mission in South Sudan, including a female officer.
Vinh suggested an official defence partnership between Vietnam and the EU by pushing the signing of a Vietnam-EU joint vision statement on national defence, and a memorandum of understanding on bilateral defence ties, including in UN peacekeeping activities.
He also called on Vietnam and the EU to increase the exchange of delegations and mutual consultations at multilateral forums and mechanisms to which both sides are members such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus.
In peacekeeping, the two sides should intensify the sharing of professional knowledge and experience through training, workshop organisation and exchange of experts to help Vietnam improve capacity and step up affiliation between the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department and peacekeeping training centres of the UN.
During the two-day conference, which was held by the EU Military Committee, the delegates discussed security and defence issues relating to the EU and EU campaigns.
It brought together chiefs of defence from 28 EU member countries and guests from the UN, NATO, the US Africa Command, the Republic of Korea, Jordan, Serbia, Cuba and Vietnam.
On the sidelines of the event, Vinh had bilateral meetings and working sessions with several EU chiefs of defence and representatives of the European External Action Service.