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Vietnam, US discuss ways to beef up defense cooperation

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 19:47 GMT+7
Vietnam, US discuss ways to beef up defense cooperation
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh is seen in this file photo.

Defense officials of Vietnam and the U.S. have discussed practical measures to strengthen cooperation between the two militaries.     

>> Vietnam’s public security minister welcomes US-Asia Pacific cooperation The discussions were held between Vietnam’s Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy together with senior officials from the Departments of State and Defense on March 23 and 24, according to the Vietnam News Agency. Deputy Defense Minister Vinh also had working sessions with Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear, and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Puneet Talwar.

Also engaging in the discussions with Sr. Lt. Gen. Vinh were Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs Anne Witkowsky, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft, and Deputy Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Jennifer Zakriski. In these meetings, the two sides reviewed the outcomes of their bilateral ties and agreed that defense cooperation in the past years has met their expectations. Regarding further cooperation in the coming time, the two sides concurred in ways to achieve desired results in such fields as dioxin detoxification at seriously contaminated sites, search for missing soldiers and helping war victims, and mine and explosive clearance. The Vietnamese and U.S. officials pledged to step up cooperation in the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities and commented that Vietnam’s participation is evidence of the responsibility of a UN member.

During the discussions, the U.S. officials voiced hopes that defense cooperation with Vietnam will be deepened in line with the two nations’ general relationship on the principle of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, contributing to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world while not affecting the Southeast Asian country’s relations with other countries.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Vinh expressed his delight at the results achieved in bilateral defense cooperation in the past years. He also recommended that in 2015, which marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U.S., the two sides should step up defense cooperation to make effective contributions to the two countries’ comprehensive partnership.

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