France is willing to cooperate with Vietnam in modernising its armed forces and hopes to expand partnership opportunities with relevant agencies of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence.

The statement was made by Lt Gen Jacques Cousquer, Deputy Director of the Directorate for International Development under the French Ministry of Defence’s Directorate-General of Armament, while meeting with Lt Gen Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Vietnam People’s Army, in Hanoi on May 26.

The host and guest agreed on the positive progress made in the two countries’ defence relations over the past few years, particularly in the military industry.

The Vietnamese official confirmed that Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence is ready to support increasing cooperation in the military industry with the French military.

Vietnam and France set up a mechanism of defence consultation in 2001. Three years later, the two countries consented to conducting the Defence and Diplomacy Strategic Dialogue hosted by their respective foreign affairs ministries at departmental level.

In 2010, they started holding annual sessions of the Vietnam-France Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation.

In order to heighten the bilateral defence ties, the two sides have inked a number of cooperation agreements such as the Framework Agreement on Defence Cooperation in 1997 and the Memorandum of Understanding on Modernising Technical Equipment for Vietnam’s civil security in 2007.-VNA