Vietnamese and New Zealand officers take a photo at Sai Gon port (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – New Zealand’s (NZ) navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana F77 carrying 178 officers and crew members anchored at Sai Gon Port in Ho Chi Minh City on September 25, commencing its five-day visit to Vietnam.

This is the first visit to HCM City by New Zealand’s navy force this year, marking the 43rd anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the Oceanic nation.

Lieutenant Colonel Lisa Hunn, Commanding Officer of Te Mana, said the visit forms part of the defence cooperation between the two countries, and thus contributing to the partnership between their militaries in general and navies in particular.

Speaking at the welcome ceremony for the NZ guests, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Anh, deputy head of Brigade 125 of Naval Zone 2, said the visit offers the two sides a chance to share experience and explore each other’s land, people, and cultures.

During their stay in HCM City, the New Zealand officers and crew members, including 38 women, are scheduled to pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue in one of the city’s parks and pay courtesy calls to officials of the municipal People’s Committee and the Military Zone 7 High Command.

They will also engage in a friendly volleyball match with their colleagues of Naval Zone 2, provide equipment and help repair local schools, in particular the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for Children with Visual Impairment, and visit several landmarks around the city. –VNA