Vietnam-US defence dialogue takes place in Washington DC hinh anh 1At the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnam's Institute for Defence Strategy  and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies (Photo: VNA)

Washington DC (VNA)
– Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia of the US Dr. Joseph Felter co-chaired the Vietnam-US defence policy dialogue 2017 in Washington D.C on October 17.

The two sides learned updated security challenges in the Asian-Pacific region, and discussed solutions to fostering bilateral cooperation within the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.

They shared viewpoints on world and regional issues of mutual concern. Both sides evaluated their cooperation outcomes in 2017 and sketched out orientations for the affiliation in 2018 and the following years in compliance with the memorandum of understanding on strengthening defence cooperation signed in 2011 and the declaration on joint vision on defence affiliation released in 2015.

They also sought to realize agreements between the two defence ministries reached during Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich’s visit to the US in August 2017.

Addressing the dialogue, Vinh said that Vietnam has launched its Peacekeeping Centre in Hanoi and highlighted potential for cooperation in military medicine, especially when Vietnam is preparing to launch level-two field hospital as part of its UN peacekeeping mission.

He lauded bilateral cooperation in seeking information and remains of Vietnamese and US soldiers died during the war, saying it is a spotlight in the two countries’ defence affiliation and affirming Vietnam has full capacity in searching for missing-in-action (MIA) servicemen of the US.

Vinh proposed that the US Defence Department continue supporting the implementation of bilateral agreements in clearing wartime unexploded explosives, while continuing encouraging international organisations to engage in the work.

He said that the dioxin detoxification in Da Nang airport has finished beyond expectations, adding that the Vietnamese side will announce the completion of the project in early November in Da Nang during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week with the participation of US President Donald Trump, and other foreign leaders.

An international conference will also be held to share Vietnam’s experience in the work, he said, calling for the US’ continued support to a similar project in Bien Hoa airport in Dong Nai province.

For his part, Dr. Felter said that the US agrees with Vietnam’s proposals on cooperation in coast guard, military medicine, peacekeeping, and dioxin detoxification.

The US side suggested that Vietnam continue joining bilateral and multilateral forums to prepare for the role of the ASEAN Chair in 2020.

Present in the dialogue, Fern Sumpter Winbush, Principal Director for the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency highly valued Vietnam’s collaboration and support in MIA search efforts. She thanked the Vietnamese side for handing over documents relating to MIA, and creating optimal conditions for on-the-site operation of joint search teams.

Following the dialogue, general Vinh and Dr. Felter witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Vietnam's Institute for Defence Strategy  and the US-based Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies.

On the occasion, Vinh also handed over to the US side two sets of documents supporting the MIA search. Meanwhile Dr. Felter gave Vinh personal belongings of a Vietnamese soldier died during the war with hope that he will bring it to the martyrs’ family.-VNA