On this occasion, Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Vietnam People’s Army, answered questions of the People’s Army Newspaper about the results and significance of the visit and the prospect of defense cooperation between the two countries.

Reporter: Could you please brief our readers upon the results of this official visit, General?

Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang: The official visit to Myanmar, from October 1 to 3, of the Vietnamese high-ranking military delegation, led by Defense Minister, General Ngo Xuan Lich, was a success as many expected results were achieved.

During the visit, Minister Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, paid a courtesy visit to the President of Myanmar, visited a special operation unit of the Myanmar military and visited Mytel, a joint-venture of the Vietnam’s military-run telecom group, Viettel, in Myanmar, as well as the Vietnamese Embassy in the country.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (R) welcoming General Ngo Xuan Lich 
The visit was to review bilateral defense cooperation, discuss orientations and agree on contents and measures to boost defense cooperation in the time to come, contributing to consolidating and enhancing the Vietnam-Myanmar Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership.

In their talks, both Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces Min Aung Hlaing agreed that the two sides would try their best to quickly implement contents of defense cooperation agreement signed between the two countries and continue to promote defense cooperation, to be on par with the two countries’ partnership.

The visit, which took place after the visit to Myanmar made by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, reiterated that Vietnam attaches importance to relations with Myanmar and expects to further strengthen the fruitful traditional relations between the two militaries in particular and the two countries in general.

Reporter: Could you please give details about the future defense cooperation between the two countries, General?

Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang: The defense cooperation has gained some positive developments after the two countries signed an agreement on defense cooperation in 2011 and visits made by state and military leaders of the two countries. The two militaries have increased cooperation in exchange of visits, training, military medicine, and defense economy. Remarkably, the two sides conducted the first-ever  working group meeting to further understand each other’s organization and operation and identify specific cooperation contents and activities for the time to come.

The two sides agreed to establish a Defense Policy Dialogue Mechanism at deputy-ministerial level to strengthen political trust and better understand each other’s stances on issues of mutual concerns, promote information sharing, consultation, and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus.

One of the outstanding outcomes of the bilateral defense cooperation is that during Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to Vietnam in March 2017, Myanmar granted a license to Mytel to operate in the country. Mytel is Vietnam’s biggest joint-venture in Myanmar and has also been the biggest foreign investment company in the country since it formed a new government.

Vietnam and Myanmar enjoy a traditional friendship with high trust. Both countries are members of ASEAN and share many cultural identities and common concerns. We strongly believe that the bilateral defense cooperation will be more extensive and practical, contributing to peace, stability, and development of the countries, the region, and the world as a whole.

Reporter: Thank you very much General!

Translated by Nam Long