Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam always attaches importance to developing relations with the Philippines, said Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich while receiving Philippine Undersecretary of National Defence Lieut. Gen. Cardozo M. Luna in Hanoi on August 9.

Lich welcomed the guest to visit Vietnam and take part in a Vietnam-Philippines defence policy dialogue, saying this is a very important mechanism which aims to reach common perceptions on regional and international security issues as well as agreed on measures to boost bilateral defence ties.

High-ranking leaders of the two countries decided to upgrade bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in 2015, opening up a new development period for the two countries’ relationship in all fields, especially defence, with the exchange of all-level delegations and cooperation in naval affairs, law enforcement at sea and personnel training, he said.

For his part, Cardozo M. Luna expressed his belief that the effective realisation of contents agreed by the two sides will contribute to further promoting the bilateral collaboration in a pragmatic, intensive and effective manner.

In the time to come,  defence ties between Vietnam and the Philippines will focus on improving the implementation of an agreement on bilateral defence cooperation, deepening existing cooperation areas and boost ties in several new areas such as young officer exchange, cooperation in defence industry, logistics and military medicine, and sharing of experience in joining UN peacekeeping operations.

Earlier, Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and Lieut. Gen. Cardozo M. Luna co-chaired the third Vietnam-Philippines Defence Policy Dialogue at deputy ministerial level.

The two sides informed each other about the outcome of the meeting of the joint working group on Vietnam-Philippines defence cooperation and agreed to assess cooperation areas in the framework of the agreement on bilateral defence cooperation.

They consented to boost the exchange of delegations and high-level meetings on the sidelines of multilateral events, maintaining personnel exchanges on the Song Tu Tay (Southwest Cay) and Song Tu Dong (Northeast Cay) islands.

Vietnam and the Philippines will organise mutual visits by naval ships and rescue fishermen in distress at sea while promoting logistics and defence industry collaboration, professional exchange in the fields of flight safety and aviation medicine, and sharing of experience in joining UN peacekeeping missions.-VNA