Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (centre) has a bilateral meeting with British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon (right). (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh on June 4 held bilateral meetings with representatives from the EU, the United Kingdom and Italy on the sidelines of the 15th Shangri La Dialogue to deepen ties in security and defence.

In his meeting with Managing Director Asia and Pacific for the European External Action Service (EEAS) Gunnar Wiegand, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh said Vietnam hopes to ramp up exchanges of high-ranking delegations and scholars and enhance cooperation in military training between Vietnam and the EU.

He also proposed the EU to share its experience with Vietnam in the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations.

For his part, Wiegand affirmed that the EU will continue strengthening partnership with Vietnam in many fields, especially in peacekeeping.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he said the EU supports negotiations between all concerned parties and hopes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to soon reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) for the settlement of issues.

While meeting with British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, Vinh said Vietnam supports the UK to be an observer at the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

In response, Fallon stated that the UK will provide favourable conditions for Vietnamese military officers to pursue training courses in the country. It will invite Vietnam to take part in a seminar on UN peacekeeping mission in London this September and coordinate with Vietnam in building a field hospital in South Sudan.

Talking with Italian Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti, the defence deputy minister suggested Vietnam and Italy to intensify collaboration in strategic studies, arms industry and UN peacekeeping operations.

Pinotti said the two countries shares a common interest in maritime security and could bolster cooperation in the field. Italy also stands ready to share its peacekeeping experience with Vietnam, she added.-VNA