Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich (L) and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian inspect the guard of honour (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and France will consider establishing a strategic defence dialogue mechanism in an effort to enhance their mutual understanding and trust, and promote their defence ties.

This was noted during talks between Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Hanoi on June 6.

The two ministers agreed to beef up collaboration in traditional areas and increase the exchange of experience in joining UN peace-keeping operations, as well as in ensuring navigation and aviation safety.

They consented to facilitate the operation of French businesses specialising in defence industry in Vietnam, particularly in areas of France’s strengths and Vietnam’s demands.

Lich said Jean-Yves Le Drian’s Vietnam visit will contribute to boosting the strategic partnership between the two countries and their defence ties in particular, for the interest of their people.

Hailing France’s role and position in Europe and the world, the minister said Vietnam attaches importance to its relations with France and stands ready to bridge the country and ASEAN.

For his part, Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke highly of Vietnam’s increasingly important role and position in the world arena, especially in ASEAN.

He reiterated France’s message delivered at the recent 15th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, which emphasises the importance of observing international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and increasing dialogues and exchanges to address disputes.

France, together with the EU, will promptly take more measures to contribute to maritime security and safety and innocent passage in the East Sea in accordance with international law, he said.

The French minister is on an official visit to Vietnam from June 5-7.-VNA