Vietnam and Bulgaria have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation, voicing their hope for the elevation of the linkage to a new height.

The MoU was inked by Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh and his Bulgarian counterpart Angel Naydenov following their talks in Sofia on August 15.

Defence Minister Thanh was on an official visit to Bulgaria from August 14-17 at the invitation of Defence Minister Naydenov.

During the talks, Minister Thanh expressed his hope for the development of comprehensive cooperation between the two nations, adding that Bulgaria is one of Vietnam ’s important partners in Europe .

Minister Thanh said Vietnam ’s comprehensive and effective cooperation with Bulgaria , including that in the field of national defence, is acting as a bridge for the Southeast Asian country to expand its relations with European nations.

According to the minister, the signing of the MoU manifests the two sides’ wish to elevate bilateral relations, including defence ties, to a new height. Under the MoU, the two sides will conduct exchanges of delegations at all levels, training, experience and information, and cooperate in defence industry.

Minister Thanh expressed his belief that on the basis of the traditional friendship and each side’s potential, the bilateral cooperation will yield practical outcomes for the benefit of the two nations, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

For his part, Bulgarian Defence Minister Naydenov affirmed Vietnam as one of Bulgaria ’s important and trust-worthy partners in Asia .

He said the similarity Vietnam and Bulgaria share in policy creates favourable conditions for the two countries to step up their multi-faceted cooperation, including defence ties.

He voiced his hope that the MoU will concretise existing areas of cooperation between the two countries while opening up new ones.

The Bulgarian minister pointed to prioritised areas in the defence cooperation, namely the exchange of delegations and experience in participating in the United Nations peacekeeping missions, military medicine, humanitarian activities, military technologies and anti-terrorism.

Earlier on the same day, the Vietnamese delegation was received by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, who described the visit as a manifestation of the fruitful traditional relationship between the two nations and the two armies as well.

Bulgaria attaches importance to the linkage with Vietnam , he said, voicing his hope that the relationship will be further developed following his upcoming visit to the Southeast Asian country.

President Plevneliev pledged favourable conditions for cooperation between the two armies, especially in the field of training which he regarded as a bridge for long-term cooperation between the two countries.
Minister Thanh reiterated Bulgaria ’s significant position in Vietnam ’s foreign policy, saying the Vietnamese people wish to develop cooperative relations with the country.

He called on the Bulgarian side to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the host country and contribute to developing the traditional friendship between the two nations.

During their stay in Bulgaria , Minister Thanh and his entourage visited the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the National Military University of Bulgaria.

The Bulgaria visit forms part of the minister’s trip to European countries from August 6-21 to reinforce the traditional friendship and mutual beneficiary cooperation between the people and army of Vietnam and the host countries.-VNA