Vietnamese Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich and  his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and the Canadian Department of National Defence. (Photo: VNA)

Ottawa (VNA)
– Vietnamese Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich and his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan have expressed their belief that the bilateral defence ties will progress in the time ahead, helping enrich the Vietnam-Canada comprehensive partnership.

The two ministers shared the views during their talks in Ottawa on May 6 as part of the official visit to Canada from May 4-12 by General Lich, Politburo member and Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission.

Minister Harjit spoke highly of General Lich’s visit, the first of its kind by a Vietnamese Defence Minister since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1973.

Lich voiced his belief that the visit will be a success, significantly contributing to promoting the comprehensive partnership.

The two sides brought up regional and international issues of shared concern.

Harjit said Canada will cooperate with relevant countries to contribute to peace, stability and development in Asia-Pacific.

Regarding territorial water sovereignty disputes, including those in the East Sea, the two ministers stressed that these disputes must be addressed by peaceful means and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), soon reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), thus contributing to regional peace, stability and development.

They noted with pleasure the development of the bilateral defence ties over the past time, especially in training and participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Lich took the occasion to thank the Canadian side for its scholarships in English and peacekeeping for Vietnamese officers under the Military Training Cooperation Programme.

Host and guest agreed to enhance collaboration in dialogues, consultations, personnel training, peacekeeping operations, defence industry, cyber security, search and rescue operations, and maritime security.

Vietnam welcomes Canada’s naval ships to pay friendly visits to the country and engage in joint activities during the visits like search and rescue operations and the practice of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).

The ministers agreed to push up cooperation possibility in law enforcement between coast guards of the two countries.

Lich suggested the Canadian Department of National Defence urge the Canadian Government to assist Vietnam in the settlement of post-war consequences, including bomb and mine clearance and dioxin detoxification.

In multilateral defence cooperation, Lich lauded Canada’s role and position in the region and the world as well as the country’s policy towards ASEAN.

Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship and host the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+ ) in 2020, he said, calling for Canada’s support in this regard.

Vietnam backs Canada to become a responsible partner in defence in ASEAN and hopes that the country will make more contributions to peace, friendship and cooperation in the region and the world at large, Lich said.

At the end of their talks, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and the Canadian Department of National Defence.

While in Canada, Lich met with David Morrison, Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister, who applauded Vietnam’s role and position in the region and hoped for stronger cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation in all spheres, covering national defence. Lich said Vietnam always wishes to enhance the relations with Canada, and highly values the country’s viewpoints on regional issues and law observance, for peace and development in the region and the world as well.-VNA