Better defence diplomacy – a target of 2017 hinh anh 1Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (third, left) visits a military unit (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Promoting proactive and active international integration and the effectiveness of defence diplomacy is one of the focuses of military activities in 2017, said Minister of National Defence Ngo Xuan Lich.

In an interview with Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, Ngo Xuan Lich, who is a Politburo member and Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission, elaborated that bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation will be enhanced with priorities given to strengthening links with ASEAN and neighbouring countries and traditionally-friendly nations.

Connections with big countries and strategic partners will be fostered while defence relations with potential partners will also be expanded.

Lich said Vietnam will proactively engage in building a defence cooperation mechanism for ASEAN in 2017. It will also make good personnel and equipment preparations for United Nations peacekeeping operations, search and rescue drills, and humanitarian aid provision co-held by regional countries.

Efforts will be made to successfully organise joint patrols at sea and along the land border, as well as friendship defence exchanges with the nations Vietnam shares the borderline with.

He hopes that those activities will help reinforce Vietnam’s solidarity and friendship with other countries and protect its territorial integrity, national independence, autonomy and interests.-VNA