At the reception on June 24 at the headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense, the Vietnamese defense minister highly appreciated the Australian diplomat’s contribution to boosting the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership, including the bilateral defense ties.

Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang (right) receives Australia Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie.

General Giang thanked the government and people of Australia for providing more than 22 million of COVID-19 vaccine doses and the Australian Department of Defense for committing to supply Vietnam with medical equipment (worth AUD 1.5 million) to fight COVID-19.

The Vietnamese defense chief emphasized the implementation of bilateral defense cooperation as planned despite bad impacts of the COVID-19. He highlighted the maintenance of the high-level contacts through phone talks between the two defense ministers, the offline defense policy dialogue at the deputy defense minister level, as well as the enhancement of cooperation in training, U.N. peacekeeping operations, settlement of war consequences, and exchange of military skills.

An overview of the reception

Expressing thanks and praising Australia’s support for Vietnamese peacekeepers, especially the air transport of Vietnam’s level-2 field hospitals’ personnel from Vietnam to South Sudan and vice versa, General Giang stressed that these flights have not only helped Vietnam deploy forces quickly and safely, but also held a symbolic meaning, contributing to deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries. “Vietnam wishes to continue to receive support from Australia in this area,” said Vietnamese defense minister.

Regarding the future cooperation, alongside maintaining efficiency of existing cooperation contents, General Giang suggested the two defense ministries consider the expansion of cooperation in potential fields such as cyber security, military trade, defense studies, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, women, peace and security, to name but a few.

Noting that next year the two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, General Giang hoped that the two sides will have more cooperation activities to mark this important milestone.

Believing that the outgoing ambassador will reap more successes in her new post, General Giang expressed his hope that she will support and contribute to enhancing the two countries’ strategic partnership in general, and bilateral defense ties in particular for peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.

General Phan Van Giang presents a souvenir to Ambassador Robyn Mudie.

For her part, Ambassador Robyn Mudie said that Australia attaches great importance to and wishes to lift the strategic partnership with Vietnam to a new height in the near future.

She stressed that the cooperation in U.N. peacekeeping operations is a highlight in defense cooperation between the two countries. She hoped that in the coming time, the two sides will continue to have direct contacts and cooperation activities in the context that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is under control.

Translated by Mai Huong