Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh has asked the Filipino President to further promote defence ties between the two countries.

During a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III in Manila on August 27, General Thanh, who was on a two-day visit to the Philippines at the invitation of Filipino Secretary of Defence Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin, expressed delight at the fruitful cooperation between the two countries.

He highlighted the progress made in defence ties, while acknowledging that more needs to be done to improve things further. He raised the suggestion that the countries share more of their experiences in protecting maritime territorial sovereignty and exclusive economic zones.

Praising Vietnam ’s role in the region and the ties shared between Vietnam and the Philippines , President Aquino said the visit of Vietnam ’s top defence leader will contribute to foster the friendship between the two peoples and armed forces, benefiting both countries.

He pledged support for the two militaries to fulfill all their agreements, which are mostly focused on personnel training and cooperation between the two coast guard forces.

Earlier on August 26, General Thanh held talks with his Filipino counterpart Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin. The two sides shared pleasure at their growing defence ties and agreed that further cooperation is in the interests of regional peace, stability, cooperation and development.

They approved plans to exchange delegations at all levels and set up a deputy ministerial defence policy dialogue.

Both General Thanh and his counterpart agreed to boost their cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief while continuing mutual support at multilateral forums.

The Vietnamese defence minister thanked the Filipino Government and army for rescuing and helping Vietnamese fishermen in distress at sea, and proposed that the Philippines continue their humanitarian treatment to Vietnamese fishermen violating its maritime sovereignty.

During his stay, the general also visited the Philippines ’s Coast Guard and the Vietnamese Embassy in Manila.-VNA