Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh (Photo: VNA)

Paris (VNA) - Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh met with senior officers from the French Ministry of Defence to discuss a wide range of measures to boost defence cooperation between Vietnam and France.

The meetings took place on the occasion of the official visit to France by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong from March 26-28.

At a meeting with French Defence Minister Florence Parly on March 27, Vinh said Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence wants to expand cooperation with the French counterpart for the benefits of the two armies and people and the bilateral strategic partnership.

Vietnam hopes that France with its significant role and position in the European Union (EU) will make active contributions to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development, ensuring navigation and aviation safety and freedom in the region and the world, based on respecting law.

Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge for France to enhance cooperation with member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said.

He described defence as a key pillar in the bilateral strategic partnership and urged the two countries’ armies to elevate the cooperation in this field to a new height, especially in celebration of the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership.

The Deputy Defence Minister proposed specific measures such as increasing all-level delegation exchanges, sharing defence strategic issues, and promoting cooperation in training, defence industry, military trade, medical military, peacekeeping activities, and post-war consequences settlement, among others.

Agreeing with the Vietnamese leader’s opinions, Minister of Defence Florence Parly showed her belief in outcomes of bilateral cooperation in the coming time. France will invite the Minister of Defence of Vietnam to pay an official visit to France this year, during with the two countries are expected to sign cooperative documents that hold important significance to the promotion of bilateral cooperation.

Earlier, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh had a working session with Phillippe Errera, Director General for International Cooperation and Strategy of the Ministry of Defence.

At the meeting, both sides discussed regional and international situations of shared concern and agreed that current issues should be deal with by peaceful measures and strict compliance with international law.

The two sides agreed on key orientations to ratchet up bilateral defence ties, mutual support at multilateral forums, participation in UN peacekeeping force, and the possibility of France’s participation in ADMM , and more.

On the occasion, the two ministries signed a letter of intent on the signing of a joint statement on a joint vision on defence cooperation for 2018-2020 and an agreement amending the cooperation agreement on hydrography, oceanography and maritime maps.-VNA