VOV.VN - Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien and United States Assistant Secretary of Defence Dr Ely Ratner recently co-hosted the annual Vietnam – US Defence Policy Dialogue in Washington, D.C.
Hailing the positive defence co-operation recorded between the two countries over the past year, Deputy Minister Chien and Assistant Secretary Ratner said post-war recovery collaboration has continued to represent a pillar and a bright spot in bilateral relations, thereby helping to build trust and foster mutual understanding between the two sides.
Deputy Minister Chien used the occasion to thank the US for increasing its non-refundable aid from US$183 million to US$300 million for the project to clean up dioxin-contaminated soil at the Bien Hoa Air Base, describing it as an important resource to complete the first phase of the project.
Moving forward, the Vietnamese side will continue offering optimal conditions for the search for US soldiers missing in action (MIA), particularly as the two sides are celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons, and 35 years of the implementation of the joint MIA activities, Deputy Minister Chien said.
At the event, both sides underscored the important role of Vietnam and the US in the co-operation framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+). They agreed to continue effective defence collaboration in the fields of delegation exchange at all levels, cyber security, defence industry and UN peacekeeping activities, as well as supporting each other at regional and multilateral forums, especially ADMM+, making contributions to regional and global peace, stability and development.
As the two nations will continue working together to deal with post-war consequences, Deputy Minister Chien suggested that both parties meticulously study the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in the field based on the joint statement on the upgrade of the bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, co-operation, and sustainable development.
He went on to request that the US to give further aid to Vietnam to speed up the dioxin detoxification project at the Bien Hoa Air Base, which needs an additional US$150 million to US$200 million.
Assistant Secretary Ratner said he will discuss the issue with the US Congress to seek further support for the project.
Regarding international issues of mutual concern, Deputy Minister Chien and Assistant Secretary Ratner applauded the role and position of ASEAN, as well as ASEAN-led mechanisms, going on to emphasize the importance of ensuring freedom, security, and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.
Vietnam is therefore persistent with its external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, multilateralization, and diversification. In addition, it has pursued a “Four Nos” defence policy, Deputy Minister Chien said, adding that Vietnam supports the settlement of disputes in the East Sea via peaceful means and in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).