Vietnam, Czech Republic seek to build stronger defence ties

VOV.VN - The Czech Republic’s Defence Minister Jana Cernochova is paying an official visit to Vietnam from December 5 to December 8 following an invitation made by Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang.

Talks were held between the two defence ministers on December 7 following a welcome ceremony held for the Czech defence official. 

As part of his speech at the event, Minister Giang highlighted the sound friendly relations between the two nations that have existed for many decades.

The Vietnamese people remember the Czech Republic's valuable material and spiritual support and assistance in historical struggles for national independence, as well as the current process of national construction and defence. This is therefore a very favourable premise to develop ties between both sides.

Over the years the traditional friendship has been continuously consolidated and developed across multiple fields, while political, educational-training, economic, and trade ties have also been maintained in an effective manner amid both nations reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the occasion, Minister Phan Van Giang, through his Czech counterpart Minister Cernochova, thanked the Government and people of the Czech Republic for creating positive conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, study, and work in the host nation. This is along with recognising the Vietnamese community in the Central European country as an ethnic minority of the Czech Republic.

Minister Giang also thanked the Czech Republic for its timely support for Vietnamese COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, saying that it is a really valuable and meaningful help, particularly as it is a testament to the strong traditional friendship that exists between the two countries.

In response, Minister Cernochova said that as part of the occasion, the Czech Republic has sent a large business delegation to Vietnam to attend the 2022 Vietnam International Defence Exhibition, with a view to introducing Czech defence industry products.

Appreciating the long-standing relationship maintained between the two countries, the Czech Defence Minister affirmed that recognition of the Vietnamese community as the third largest ethnic minority in the Czech Republic has significantly contributed to improving the sound relationship between the two countries.

Minister Cernochova cordially invited Minister Giang to visit the Czech Republic, thereby having the opportunity to continue to further discuss issues and fields of mutual concern.

Furthermore, the Czech Minister also invited Minister Giang to visit the booth displaying products of Czech enterprises at the Vietnam International Defence Exhibition as part of the occasion.

During the course of the meeting, based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence co-operation signed in 2012, the two sides have implemented many co-operation contents to boost bilateral defence ties in a practical and effective manner.

The opening of the Defence Attaché Office permanently in Vietnam from August, 2020, by the Czech Republic represents an important milestone in defence co-operation between the two countries, contributing to deepening mutual understanding and trust. In addition, it helps to create favorable conditions for bolstering co-operation between the two defence ministries in fields such as training, air defence, the air force, scientific and technology research, and the defence industry.

At multilateral mechanisms and forums, Vietnam hailed the Czech Republic's active role as the rotating president of the EU, as well as its support for the Vietnam-EU co-operation framework.

Minister Giang expressed his belief that the mutual relationship will make a positive contribution to the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership, as well as ASEAN-led co-operation mechanisms.

The two sides therefore agreed that there remains plenty of room for stronger defence co-operation moving forward, especially in areas such as training, the defence industry, and technical assurance.

On that basis, in order to further develop defence links, the two sides will bolster co-operation in delegation exchange at all levels, especially high-level ones, the training of human resources, whilst continuing to support each other in multilateral frameworks and mechanisms.

Minister Giang said he hopes that the Czech Republic, as the rotating president of the EU, will continue to support co-operation activities between Vietnam and the EU in the field of defence, including the framework participation agreement (FPA) on the establishment of a framework for Vietnamese participation in crisis management activities of the EU.

During the talks, the two sides also discussed the world and regional situation and issues of shared concern. They underscored the importance of ensuring security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, as well as settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They voiced their support for the central role of ASEAN in co-operation mechanisms between ASEAN and its partners.

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