Vietnam and France have agreed to enhance defence cooperation, particularly in delegation exchanges, training, defence industry, and maritime security.

The two sides reached the consensus during the fourth session of the Vietnam-France Joint Committee on National Defence Cooperation in Paris on November 27.

Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh co-chaired the meeting with French Army Deputy Chief of Staff Senior Lieutenant General Gratien Maire.

Vinh said the recent upgrading of the Vietnam-France relationship to a strategic partnership demonstrates the two nations’ closer ties and lays firm foundations for future multifaceted cooperation, especially in the field of national defence.

Vietnam always regards France as an important partner and supports its endeavours to expand relations in the Asian Pacific region, he said.

He stressed that the two sides need to work hard to develop defence cooperation in an effective, practical and sustainable manner, making it one of the pillars of the bilateral strategic partnership, for the interests of the two peoples as well as for the sake of a peaceful and stable environment for common development.

General Maire affirmed his nation’s willingness to back Vietnam ’s efforts to defend its sovereignty and fulfil Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

France recognises Vietnam ’s regional importance and backs the country’s commitments to promoting peace and stability in the region and the world, he said.

The French side also pledged to continue supporting Vietnam ’s International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) membership bid, share its UN peacekeeping deployment experience, and will help the country in clearance of unexploded ordnance.

The two sides consented to tightening coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums.

During their November 26-28 stay in France , the Vietnamese delegation toured a number of French Defence Ministry agencies and met with representatives from the French army.-VNA