Vietnam, New Zealand hold third defence policy dialogue hinh anh 1Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and New Zealand have agreed to outline a cooperation plan for the next three years with a view to elevating the defence collaboration to a new high, making it on par with the strategic partnership between the two nations.

The agreement was made at the third Vietnam-New Zealand defence policy dialogue held via video conference on December 2. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien and Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence of New Zealand Andrew Bridgman co-chaired the event.

At the dialogue, both sides expressed their pleasure with the two nations celebrating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the upgrade of the ties to the strategic partnership in 2020. They described those as favourable conditions to promote defence cooperation in the fields of dialogue, consultation, delegation exchange, training, intelligence, UN peace keeping activities, maritime security, and COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control.

They agreed to study the organisation of annual meetings at ministerial level on the occasion of official visits and on the sidelines of multilateral events from next year.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, Chien highlighted outcomes of the multilateral defence activities hosted by Vietnam in the role as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, thereby affirming Vietnam’s efforts in maintaining and promoting cooperation momentum within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus for mutual benefits of ASEAN and its partners.

Meanwhile, Andrew laid stress on New Zealand’s support for the centre role of ASEAN, and spoke highly of Vietnam’s initiatives for the region in the past time.

Touching on regional and international issues of mutual interest, both sides were unanimous about the common perception on the principle of respecting international law, the settlement of disputes via peaceful means, and no use of force or threat to use force.

Chien took the occasion to thank New Zealand’s defence ministry for its timely support for Vietnam in recent storms and floods.

He said he respected the New Zealand government’s assistance worth 117,000 USD for Vietnam to overcome consequences of natural disasters./.