Vietnam, Netherlands boost defence ties

(VOV) - Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh paid an official visit to the Netherlands on August 18-19 at the invitation of Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaer.

During talks in Amsterdam on August 19, Thanh noted that both sides have well implemented a signed memorandum of understanding on national defence cooperation, especially in delegation exchanges, training, and the defence industry, to promote mutual trust and friendship between the two armies.

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Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaer (left) welcomed Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh in Amsterdam (

Thanh confirmed that Vietnam wants to increase defence cooperation and experience sharing with the Netherlands, particularly in building ships for the navy, marine police, and search and rescue forces.    

He proposed that the Dutch military share experience in overcoming the consequences of natural disasters, engaging in search and rescue work, and responding to climate change.

Effective cooperation in national defence will make a substantial contribution to mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, for peace, stability, cooperation, and development in Asia, Europe and the rest of the world, Thanh told his host.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaer agreed with Thanh’s proposals, and said both militaries should realise the key contents of the MoU, with a major focus on reciprocal delegation visits, training, naval exchanges, and defence industry cooperation.

The same day, General Thanh was received by Prime Minister Mark Rutte who voiced his support for stronger cooperation between the two countries’ militaries.

The Netherlands government creates the best possible conditions for the two militaries to strengthen their ties, Rutte assured Thanh.

He noted with satisfaction the positive development in cooperative relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam, notably in economics, trade, agriculture, energy, climate change adaptation and national defence.

General Thanh proposed that the Netherlands will continue assisting Vietnam to respond to climate change and sea rising levels.

While staying in the Netherlands, General Thanh visited the Damen Shipyards Group, made a fact-finding tour of the country’s major sea dyke system, and met with Vietnamese embassy staff.