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French naval vessel begins friendly visit to Vietnam

Monday, May 02, 2016, 13:26 GMT+7
French naval vessel begins friendly visit to Vietnam
French battleship Tonnerre in this photo provided by the Embassy of France in Vietnam

A French warship arrived on Monday at the international seaport in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa to begin its friendly visit to the Southeast Asian country.

The amphibious assault ship Tonnerre docked at Cam Ranh International Port in the morning, commencing the visit of naval officers aboard, scheduled between May 2 and 5.

The battleship is one of the largest vessels of the French Navy, according to the General Political Department under the management of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense.

The vessel is designed to serve multiple functions including helicopter carrier, hospital ship, as well as being a large scale soldier transport outfitted with modern equipment and ammunition.

The visit is considered a powerful indication of the growing cooperation between the French and Vietnamese military and governments, contributing to ties in diplomacy and national defense of the two countries, the French Embassy of Vietnam said in a press release.

According to the embassy, the visit is conducted prior to the visit of the French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian in June, and President François Hollande in autumn this year.   

During their stay in the Southeast Asian country, commanders and sailors of the warship are expected to meet with local officials as well as participate in several friendly activities with their Vietnamese counterparts. 

The Cam Ranh port is built to provide maritime services for international military and civilian ships at Cam Ranh Military Base, strengthening ties with other nations’ naval forces to improve Vietnam’s regional and global position, and safeguard peace and order in the East Vietnam Sea.

The seaport, which was inaugurated on March 8, is set to focus mainly on three sectors in 2016; maritime services, repair and maintenance services, and travel services.

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