The 7th Vietnam-US defence policy dialogue took place in Hanoi on October 17, with both sides looking to enhance ties and multiply cooperative areas.
The dialogue was co-chaired by Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and Cara Abercrombie, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia. They both noticed the Vietnam-US defence cooperation is getting more effective in line with the two countries’ comprehensive partnership.
Vinh stated resettling war aftermath was a highlight of their join activities, adding that it does not only remedy consequences in the past but also opens future cooperation opportunities.
The message should be spread wider among the two peoples and the international communities, he said.
Vinh noted that Vietnam, understanding the important of returning remains of US servicemen who died during the war in Vietnam to their families and Government, is willing to do its utmost to support the US in this matter.
Concerning the mitigation of Agent Orange/dioxin consequences in Vietnam, he reported that, with support from the US, the detoxification of contaminated soil at Dang Nang International Airport has completed its first phase and will begin the second phase on October 18.
He stressed the project has the great humanitarian and political meaning, hoping the US Department of Defence will continued to support Vietnam in similar projects, particularly the upcoming detoxification of dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa airport.
Vinh also thanked the assistance of the US in dealing with unexploded ordnance in Vietnam and lauded the outcomes of exchanging war veterans and returning remembrances.
Agreeing with Vinh, Abercrombie thanked Vietnam’s efforts in helping the US with the missing-in-action issue.
She said the US will further supporting Vietnam in searching for martyrs’ remains and tackling unexploded ordnance.
At the dialogue, both sides discussed delegation exchanges and cooperation in marine security, humanitarian aid, UN peacekeeping mission and education.
They also talked about the Cooperative Humanitarian and Medical Storage Initiative (CHAMSI). During the visit to Vietnam by President Barrack Obama in May 2016, the US and Vietnam signed a letter of intent to establish a CHAMSI working group, which will advance cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
On regional and international issues, Abercrombie said the US will not change its Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy and continue implementing its commitments to the region.
Vinh said Vietnam supports international intervention of the US and other partners in the region if it brings about peace, stability and prosperity.
Both sides agreed that regional disputes need to be settled in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to build a region of peace and stability and maintain the freedom of aviation and navigation.
Later the day, Abercrombie met with Minister of National Defence Ngo Xuan Lich to give him a brief on the outcomes of the dialogue.
At the meeting, Lich stated that Vietnam wants to cooperate with the US in all fields, particularly in defence for peace, security and safety in the region and in the world.
He said room for bilateral cooperation remains extensive, saying both sides should deepen their ties in accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed between Vietnamese and US defence ministries in 2001 and the Vietnam-US Joint Vision Statement in 2015.