|Participants in the 7th diplomatic – defence strategic dialogue between Vietnam and Australia pose for a photo (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Rear Admiral Nguyen Trong Binh and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung co-chaired the event with Australia’s Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Richard Maude and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence Peter Tesch.
At the dialogue, the two sides reviewed the strong developments in bilateral relations and reaffirmed their countries’ importance in each other’s foreign policies.
They said defence collaboration is an important pillar in the Vietnam – Australia strategic partnership, agreeing to continue effectively carrying out bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation activities on the basis of the 2010 memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation and the 2018 joint vision statement on enhancing defence ties.
Discussing the regional situation, the officials shared the view that the Asia-Pacific continues to be a region with dynamic development that attracts the attention of many important partners around the world.
Regarding the recent East Sea situation, they highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters. They emphasised the need to resolve disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and to promote negotiations on an effective, substantive and legally binding code of conduct in the waters.
Both sides also voiced concern about emerging challenges like terrorism, cyber security, energy security and climate change. Given this, they agreed to increase information sharing and coordinate closely within multilateral and bilateral frameworks to minimise negative impact of these challenges.
At the dialogue, Australia affirmed that it will keep working closely with ASEAN and supporting the bloc’s central role. It is also ready to assist Vietnam to fulfill the roles as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020 – 2021.
After the event, Rear Admiral Nguyen Trong Binh paid courtesy calls to Chief of the Australian Defence Force General Angus Campbell and acting Associate Secretary of Defence Rebecca Skinner.
He once again thanked Australia for helping with the transportation of Vietnam’s level-2 field hospital to the UN mission in South Sudan.
Meanwhile, the Australian officials also reiterated their country’s wish to intensify defence cooperation with Vietnam.