Vietnam, Australia hold deputy ministerial-level strategic dialogue hinh anh 1At the dialogue (Source: internet)
Hanoi (VNA) – The fourth deputy ministerial-level foreign affairs and defence strategic dialogue between Vietnam and Australia took place in Hanoi on November 21 with a view to seeking measures to enhance their comprehensive partnership.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dang Dinh Quy, while the Australian side was headed by Deputy Secretary Defence People Rebecca Skinner and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Gary Quinlan.

At the dialogue, the two sides noted with pleasure the strong development of their bilateral relations over the past time and reiterated the significant role and position of each country in the other’s foreign policies.

The Australian officials welcomed the visit to Australia by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh from November 29 to December 1, 2016, during which the two nations were committed to signing a joint action programme for the 2016-2019 period.

Both sides agreed to prop up cooperation in politics, economy, trade, investment, security, defence, education, training, development support, science, technology, and people-to-people exchanges, particularly increasing collaboration between the ministries of foreign affairs and defence.

Australia pledged to support and assist Vietnam in hosting the APEC Year 2017.

The deputy ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and welcomed joint efforts to enhance cooperation, dialogues and mutual trust for peace, stability and development in the Asian-Pacific region.

They agreed to reinforce coordination at regional organisations and forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), and the ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

Australia vowed to continue supporting ASEAN’s efforts in building the ASEAN Community and its vision through 2025, as well as strengthening the intra-bloc’s solidarity, narrowing development gap, and promoting the group’s central role in the regional shaping architecture.

The two sides expressed their concerns over the emerging traditional and non-traditional security challenges, and emphasised the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, and safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region.

They stressed the need to strictly abide by international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS), settle any disputes via peaceful means, and respect the diplomatic and legal process without using or threating to use force.

Vietnam and Australia consented to share information and step up cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime and terrorism, coping with climate change, and ensuring the security and sustainable use of the Mekong River’s water sources.

The two sides agreed to hold the fifth deputy ministerial-level foreign affairs and defence strategic dialogue in Australia in 2017.-VNA