Vietnam and the European Union (EU) have inked an agreement on the establishment of a framework agreement for Vietnam’s participation in the EU’s crisis management activities.
General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, and Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Thursday signed a Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) establishing a legal framework for Vietnam’s participation in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations.
The signing ceremony, which took place in Brussels, Belgium, came two months after a visit by Mogherini to the Southeast Asian country.
The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy provides the Union with the capacity to run civilian and military operations while FPAs are meant to strengthen the involvement of the EU’s partners, according to Belgian newspaper New Europe.
Such operations are undertaken follow a request for assistance from the affected country, with respect to international law, it said.
Vietnam became the second partner country in Asia to sign an agreement of this kind with the EU, after South Korea, and the first in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The EU now has FPAs with 19 partner countries, including Vietnam.
The signing marked an important milestone in the development of bilateral defense relations, contributing to the enhancement and deepening of the Vietnam-EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA), the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The FPA also serves as a foundation for the signing of future specific cooperation agreements between the two sides, it said.
|General Ngo Xuan Lich (L), Minister of National Defense of Vietnam, and Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, sign a Framework Participation Agreement for Vietnam’s participation in crisis management activities of the EU in Brussels, Belgium on October 17, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
EU, Vietnam to boost defense ties
After the signing ceremony, Lich and Mogherini hosted a conference during which they explained their determination to boost the bilateral defense partnership between Vietnam and the EU, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Both agreed to step up cooperation in coping with common security challenges and combating piracy, organized crime, and trafficking in accordance with international law.
Federica Mogherini said the EU and its member countries are “concerned” about the recent complicated situation in the East Vietnam Sea.
The EU calls on the parties involved to comply with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), she said, adding that the Union supports transparent negotiations to reach a Code of Conduct (COC) for the East Vietnam Sea.