Vietnamese diplomats and members of the military and their Australian counterparts in Canberra reviewed the progress made in bilateral relations at a meeting held in Canberra on December 9 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22).

The Australian guests included Gilian Bird, the Acting Secretary of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Peter Slipper, member of the House of Representatives and Vice Chairman of the Australia-Vietnam Parliamentary Association; and Air Vice Marshall Geoffrey Brown, Deputy Chief of the Australian Air Force.

They all agreed that since the two countries first established diplomatic ties in 1973, they have both seen major progress in various fields, especially in security and national defence.

Australia opened its defence attaché office in Hanoi in February, 1999 while the Vietnamese office of defence attache was opened in Canberra in September, 2000.

In addition to a regular exchange of senior level visits to promote mutual understanding, the two armed forces have stepped up cooperation in anti-terrorist activities, border management, rescue work and relief aid for natural disasters and epidemics.

Australia has granted a number of scholarships to Vietnamese military officers and cadets to study in Australia and is one of the leading foreign donors to provide English training to the Vietnamese military.

The event, attended by numerous overseas Vietnamese and students studying at Australian universities, listened to Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tan review the Vietnamese army’s glorious history.

The army has made a great contribution to, not only the struggle for national salvation, but also to economic development, concluded the Vietnamese diplomat./.