|Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh (Photo: VNA)
The officials said the two sides’ signing of the participation framework agreement (FPA) on Vietnam’s engagement in the EU’s crisis management operations has created a favourable foundation for them to continue intensifying defence links.
On the basis of the FPA, the EU has chosen Vietnam to pilot the “Enhanced EU Security Cooperation in and with Asia” strategy. For its part, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence has also promoted defence cooperation with the EU into a pillar in the Vietnam-EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation.
Deputy Minister Vinh said the Vietnamese defence ministry always attaches importance to defence ties with the EU, asking both sides to bolster collaboration in military medicine to fight against COVID-19, as well as in coping with non-traditional security challenges.
He stressed that Vietnam and the EU need to actively prepare for implementing the FPA-based cooperation agreements as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.
During the talks, Graziano voiced his support for Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year and non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2020-2021. He expressed his hope that Vietnam will continue bringing into play the centrality of ASEAN, thus contributing to regional security and peace.
He also affirmed that the two sides’ goodwill and cooperation demand are the foundation for Vietnam and the EU to strengthen defence ties in many areas within the FPA framework, including personnel training, peacekeeping and maritime security.
The officials shared the view that bilateral cooperation potential remains huge, especially in delegation exchange, defence-security dialogue, training, settlement of war aftermath, peacekeeping and strategy research. In particular, the two sides will pay special attention to implementing the FPA and sending Vietnamese defence officers to take part in lecturing activities at some peacekeeping training centres of the EU in the Central African Republic in the time to come.
Concluding the talks, Vinh and Graziano agreed that both sides will organise more online discussions at different levels in the future to carry out the issues agreed on at the event.