U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is on an official visit to Vietnam from July 28 to 29 at the invitation of Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, General Phan Van Giang.
At the talks held after the reception, the two defense leaders highly valued the fruitful outcomes of the bilateral defense cooperation over the past time, saying that the two sides achieved practical defense cooperation results in settling war legacy, dealing with non-traditional security issues, supporting Vietnam's engagement in U.N. peacekeeping operations, improving Vietnam's capacity for maritime law enforcement as well as in military medicine and training, in accordance with the development of the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership.
The two sides also agreed to boost cooperation in line with the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation 2011 and the Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation 2015, focusing on settling war legacy, improving capacity of maritime law enforcement forces, military medicine cooperation to fight COVID-19, and personnel training. The two sides pledged to consider expanding defense cooperation in new fields meeting the needs of each side.
The U.S. defense official took the chance to inform that the U.S. side will provide medical equipment for Vietnam in support of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense assured that the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa airport will be completed on time, and that the U.S. side will increase humanitarian projects in Vietnam as well as provide aid packages for Vietnam to improve its capacity for maritime law enforcement.
During the talks, the two sides exchanged regional and global issues of mutual concern as well as non-traditional and traditional security challenges that negatively affect regional security.
The two defense officials showed their support for the central role of ASEAN in fostering cooperation in the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+), saying that it contributes to maintaining peace, stability and security in the region and world.
They also shared the same view on the importance of respecting legal rights and benefits of coastal countries, settling disputes by peaceful means, maintaining peace, stability, security, freedom of navigation and over-flight in seas in line with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas 1982.
After the talks, Vietnamese Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang and U.S. Secretary of State Lloyd J. Austin III attended a ceremony to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in searching for, collecting and identifying Vietnamese war martyrs, and exchange war keepsakes and information to assist in locating, recovering, and identifying missing personnel.
The visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to Vietnam is expected to strengthen friendship and mutual trust between the two militaries and peoples, as well as boost bilateral defense cooperation in line with the signed defense cooperation deals and the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership.
Translated by Thu Nguyen
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