Vietnam, New Zealand seek to strengthen defence ties hinh anh 1Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang held a phone talk with his New Zealand counterpart Peeni Henare on March 9 during which they sought to strengthen defence ties between the two countries in multiple areas.

Giang expressed sincere thanks to the Government and people of New Zealand for supporting Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19. He also informed Henare on Vietnam’s roadmap for staged border reopening post-COVID-19 which is expected to pave the way for closer defence relations between Vietnam and other countries, including New Zealand.

The Vietnamese minister said despite COVID-19 impacts, Vietnam and New Zealand has sustained and expanded the bilateral defence ties in accordance with their signed agreements and the Strategic Partnership for the common benefits of each nation and the region.

He highly spoke of the two ministries' efforts in maintaining high-level exchanges and meetings, citing the Vietnam-New Zealand Defence Policy Dialogue held virtually in December 2020 and this phone talk as examples.

He also appreciated the role and contributions of the New Zealand Ministry of Defence at ASEAN-led multilateral defence-security mechanisms, particularly the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ).

Vietnam backs New Zealand to further step up its Strategic Partnership with ASEAN, including the implementation of an action plan in defence and security for 2021-2025.

Both sides agreed that there is plenty of room for the bilateral defence ties to grow further on the basis of the Strategic Partnership. They agreed to request the two ministries to continue making plans for future cooperation, with focus placed on increasing high-level delegation exchanges, establishing dialogue channels between the two countries’ defence-security officials and scholars, personnel training, cyber security, search and rescue, and medical studies on communicable diseases.

They also plan to effectively implement a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation in UN peacekeeping missions and soon start the building of a cooperation plan for the next three years./.