A Vietnamese delegation attended a Defence Officials’ Dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union in Brussels, Belgium on April 8-9.

Participants, including defence and diplomatic officials from ASEAN member countries, the EU, and ASEAN’s dialogue partners, focused on discussing maritime security and the role of the armed forces in disaster relief.

They also exchanged measures to boost mutual understanding and trust through the ASEAN Regional Forum on defence and to intensify cooperation in the defence industry with the EU.

Representing the Vietnamese delegation, Deputy Director of the Defence Ministry’s Institute of International Relations, Colonel Nguyen Thanh Dong, delivered a speech on ensuring maritime security in the Asia-Pacific, where a number of traditional and non-traditional security issues, including territorial disputes, relational conflicts, terrorism, trans-national crime and food security are posing challenges to all surrounding countries.

Territorial disputes in the East Sea and the East China Sea are complex, Dong noted, adding that to avoid clashes ASEAN has conducted many initiatives, such as setting up hotlines, pledging not to use force, and strictly obeying the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the early approval of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

As a coastal country, Vietnam always takes the initiative and is ready to take part in sea-related cooperative activities. The country also maintains its consistent point of view on solving all disputes by peaceful measures with respect for international law, he added.-VNA