On September 17 afternoon, at the French Ministry of Armed Forces’ headquarters, the French Minister hosted a solemn reception for General Ngo Xuan Lich, the highest ritual for a minister.

General Ngo Xuan Lich reviews guards of honor

At the talks held after the welcome ceremony, the French Minister hailed the official visit to France by the Vietnamese Defense Minister and his entourage, affirmed that France highly appreciated Vietnam’s role and status in the region and the world and treasures its ties with Vietnam.

For his part, General Lich thanked the French Minister for the solemn reception. He emphasized that the visit is part of the activities in celebration of the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership. It also aims to realize the agreements reached by the two sides during the official visit to France by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in March this year.

General Lich repeated Trong’s words saying that the Vietnam-France relationship over the past 45 years is seen as a good model for bilateral relations, especially since the two countries lifted their ties to a strategic partnership. He expressed his delight at the comprehensive and effective development of the two countries’ ties, particularly in the fields of politics-diplomacy, economic-trade, defense, security, culture, education, science, justice and health.

During the talks, the two sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The French Minister emphasized that France shares the same views with many countries on security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in international seas on the basis of respecting international law. France will continue to make contribution to maintaining an environment of peace, stability and development in the areas in which the country has interests.

The two ministers agreed that disputes should be addressed in a peaceful manner, abiding by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Regarding the two nations’ relationship, General Lich confirmed that France is an important partner of Vietnam and that Vietnam highly values the country’s role in the international arena and supports the country in enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation with ASEAN member countries and in getting involved in ASEAN cooperation mechanisms.

The Vietnamese Minister hoped that France will further contribute to peace, stability and development in the region where ASEAN plays the central role.

Both Vietnamese and French ministers spoke highly of the positive developments in the bilateral defense cooperation over the past time and said that the ties are one of the pillars of the strategic partnership of the two countries.

Since Vietnam and France signed an agreement on bilateral defense cooperation in 2009, the bilateral defense ties have reaped important outcomes.

Especially, since the two countries lifted their ties to strategic partnership, they have paid due attention to further developing the bilateral defense cooperation. As a result, the two sides have gained practical achievements in exchange of strategic viewpoints, as well as cooperation on personnel training, UN peacekeeping activities, defense industry and military equipment, military medicine, and experience-sharing between military services.

About the bilateral defense cooperation in the time to come, the two sides agreed to further improve the efficiency of the existing cooperation mechanisms and seek cooperation opportunities in the fields that the two sides have interests and strengths.

The two ministers signed a joint vision statement on defense cooperation for the 2018-2028 period and an agreement on revising the agreement on Vietnam-France defense cooperation signed in 2009.

The two ministers exchange the newly-signed joint vision statement.

They said that the newly-signed joint vision statement aims to deepen the bilateral defense ties, contributing to promoting the Vietnam-France strategic partnership. They affirmed the two sides’ good will to further develop bilateral defense cooperation in a long-term and effective manner on the basis of respecting each country’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and laws.

Via this statement, the two countries are willing to strengthen mutual trust as a foundation for their enhanced cooperation, contribute positively to security and stability in the region and the world, boost the compliance of international law, freedom of travel on land, sea and air routes, cope with non-traditional security threats while taking into account impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on security.

To realize aforementioned cooperation orientations, the two sides agreed to continue to maintain regular visits and exchanges at all levels, enhance high-level exchanges, diversify bilateral consultation mechanisms on regional and international security matters of mutual concern.

Vietnam and France will boost cooperation and mutual support at multilateral organizations and forums as well as promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation, thus contributing to regional peace and security.

The two countries will also support each other in capacity building, share experience in UN peacekeeping operations, and reinforce cooperation in defense industry, military equipment, military medicine, and hydrology in an intensive manner.

Notably, the two sides will concentrate on enhancing cooperation in maritime security and safety and dealing with other non-traditional security issues, in exchanging experience and seeking new opportunities to cooperate in environmental security.

The two ministers also agreed to boost cooperation in defense industry and military equipment to meet the requirements and potentials of both countries.

General Lich said that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense is ready to create favorable conditions for French defense enterprises to seek cooperation and business in Vietnam.

According to General Lich, with the signing of the joint vision statement on defense cooperation for the 2018-2028 period, the bilateral defense ties will take a new step forward in line with the two countries’ strategic partnership, meeting the cooperation needs of the two sides and making active contributions to developing the cooperation ties between the two countries in an intensive and comprehensive manner.

“I do believe that the success of this visit will help deepen the friendship and win-win cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense and the French Ministry of Armed Forces, thus contributing to promoting peace, stability and development of the two nations in particular, and of the region and the world as well,” said General Lich at the talks.

The Vietnamese Minister invited Minister Florence Parly and her spouse to pay official visit to Vietnam at an appropriate time.

* In the framework of the official visit to France, the Vietnamese delegation visited the War College and Creil Air Base, BA 110. Members of the Vietnamese delegation also had sideline activities with their French partners to boost cooperation among military services and in defense industry.

Reported by Thu Trang from France

Translated by Mai Huong