Chief of Thai Defence Forces pays official visit to Vietnam hinh anh 1Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang (L) and Chief of Defence Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Gen. Ponpipaat Benyasri inspect the guard of honour at the welcome ceremony for the latter in Hanoi on December 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Chief of Defence Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Gen. Ponpipaat Benyasri, is paying an official visit to Vietnam from December 19 to 21 which aims to enhance the traditional friendship and mutual trust between the two militaries and peoples.

On December 20, the Thai official paid a courtesy call to Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, who said Vietnam always attaches importance to the cooperation with ASEAN countries, including Thailand.

The host congratulated Thailand on successfully fulfilling its role as the ASEAN Chair in 2019, which he said has greatly helped strengthen ASEAN’s cooperation and raise the bloc’s standing in the region and the world.

He also asked Thailand to further bring into play its role and join Vietnam and other ASEAN members to promote the realisation of the ASEAN Community’s common goals.

Applauding the outcomes of the session between the Thai official and the Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, Sen. Lt. General Phan Van Giang, Lich asked both sides to maintain the dialogue mechanism to effectively implement cooperation agreements between the two defence ministries.

For his part, Gen. Benyasri affirmed that in his position, he will continue making contributions to the development of the relations between the two militaries in a practical and effective manner and in line with the countries’ strategic partnership.

Earlier, Giang hosted a welcome ceremony for the Thai official and his entourage.

At the subsequent talks, Giang said the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership has been developing in all fields, from politics, security, economy to culture and society, with defence cooperation being one of the important pillars in the bilateral ties.

In 2020, when Vietnam serves as ASEAN Chair, its Defence Ministry will hold more than 20 military-defence meetings and activities of the bloc, he noted, expressing his hope that Thailand and the Chief of Defence Forces will support those events and initiatives of Vietnam.

During the talks, both sides shared the view that bilateral defence-military collaboration has continued to be implemented fruitfully as seen through mutual visits, officer exchanges, language training, information sharing, and cooperation between their air and naval forces.

They agreed to maintain the exchange of delegations, especially high-ranking ones, and officers. 

In the time ahead, the two sides will consider organising exchanges between military regions and corps, share experience in supporting people in poverty reduction and building borders of sustainability, maintain joint training activities during joint patrols at sea, and exchange experience in cross-border crime combat.

Aside from considering the organisation of joint medical services provision, they will also discuss the possibility of cooperation in such fields as logistics, defence industry, and anti-terrorism, according to the officials./.