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More room for Vietnam-India defense ties next year: Indian expert

More room for Vietnam-India defense ties next year: Indian expert

Saturday, November 01, 2014, 15:29 GMT+7

Vietnam and India will have greater possibilities for boosting their defense cooperation in 2015, according to Indian Professor S.D. Muni, a special expert in Vietnam-India relations at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses.

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The Indian professor offered that opinion in a recent interview with the Vietnam News Agency following a three-day visit to India by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that ended on October 29.

Vietnam will become the ASEAN country coordinator for the South Asian nation in the year 2015. ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The expert underscored that the cooperative relations in security and defense between the two countries will be strengthened through agreements based on which India will provide Vietnam with high-tech equipment.

Security and defense relations between the two countries will thrive in the future, Professor Muni added.

The relationship between Hanoi and New Delhi is very close and friendly, without any problems, misunderstandings or tensions happening between them, he said.

The two have fostered economic cooperation and culture, expanding their ties in security and defense, following the Vietnam visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in September, which came less than a month after the visit of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to the Southeast Asian country, Prof. Muni said.   India has always supported Vietnam and the latter has done the same to the former, the professor said, adding that the South Asian country pays special attention to CMLV countries, including Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.

He also affirmed that Vietnam is a pillar of India’s Look East policy, which represents its efforts to forge economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia.

On October 28, Indian PM Narendra Modi told visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that India will grant a credit package of US$100 million for Hanoi to buy patrol ships from New Delhi. He also pledged that India will help Vietnam modernize its defense and security forces, organize joint military exercises, and boost cooperation in the defense industry. A major turning point of the two countries came in July 2007 when India and Vietnam raised their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership during the official visit to India by Prime Minister Dung. The Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed between the two sides then mapped out cooperation in five major areas, including defense and security.

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