On the afternoon of October 25, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hosted a reception for the Vietnamese defense minister and his delegation.

At the meeting, the Philippine president spoke highly of the Vietnamese defense minister’s visit, saying that it would make an important contribution to boosting the Philippines-Vietnam strategic partnership. He affirmed that the Philippines treasures and is willing to strengthen the bilateral relations and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam.

General Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte 
According to the Philippines president, the bilateral defense cooperation has reached a number of positive results recently, and serves as an important pillar in the Philippines-Vietnam strategic partnership. He pledged to back bilateral cooperation between the two militaries and hoped to see the bilateral defense ties grow strongly in the future.

For his part, Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich thanked the Philippine president for the reception and extended greetings from Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to him.

He congratulated the Philippines on its excellent performance of the ASEAN Chairmanship 2017, saying that the country as the 2017 ASEAN Chair has actively promoted defense cooperation within ASEAN as well as cooperation between the bloc and its partners.

He expressed his thanks to the Philippine president, in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Philippine armed forces, for creating favorable conditions for the two defense organizations to enhance cooperation efficiently, particularly cooperation between the maritime law enforcement forces of the two countries.   

On October 26, a solemn ceremony to officially receive the Vietnamese defense minister and high-ranking Vietnamese defense delegation was held at the Philippine Defense Ministry’s headquarters, Malina.

After the reception, the two defense ministers led the two high-ranking defense delegations to have talks.

Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana (R) and General Ngo Xuan Lich 
Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana hailed the visit of his Vietnamese counterpart and defense delegation, saying that it would significantly contribute to friendship between the two armies and peoples.

He underscored that Vietnam and the Philippines are each other’s important partner and the Philippines wants to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam. He suggested that the two sides should prioritize and underscore bilateral defense cooperation as the two countries share several strategic interests and challenges. He also affirmed that he would do his utmost to boost the bilateral defense cooperation in a deep and effective manner.     

The visiting defense minister thanked the Philippine Defense Ministry for the official reception and congratulated the Philippine Defense Ministry and defense minister on the big success in organizing and chairing ADMM 2017 and ADMM+ 2017.

He underscored that Vietnam and the Philippines are two members of ASEAN that share maritime borders and have good traditional friendship. He affirmed that the Philippines is always defined as an important and prioritized partner in Vietnam’s foreign policy.

The two sides also exchange regional and international issues of mutual concern and expressed their delight at recent positive developments. Under the Agreement on Defense Cooperation signed by the two defense ministries in October 2010, the two sides deployed a number of cooperative contents and obtained practical outcomes, particularly in exchange of delegations, dialogue mechanisms, personnel training and maritime law enforcement.  

In the coming time, the two defense ministers agreed to focus on increasing exchange of delegations at all levels and establishing a young officer exchange mechanism to help young generations of the two countries better understand each other and promote connectivity between them.

The two sides also underpinned the need to bring into full play the defense policy dialogue mechanism at the deputy-defense ministerial level, and to continue consulting, coordinating and supporting each other in multilateral forums.

The two sides agreed to step up cooperation on personnel training and experience sharing and research and development of defense products.

As the region is facing non-traditional security threats, the two sides agreed to accelerate cooperation between military services and arms, particularly naval and coast guard forces, of the two countries.

The two sides agreed to consider a cooperation mechanism for maritime law enforcement forces of the two countries so as to better maintain regional peace and security as well as protecting fishermen of each country and observing the laws of each country.

During his visit to the Philippines, Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich laid floral wreaths at the Rizal Memorial in Manila, the Philippines.

Reported by Thu Trang from Manila, the Philippines

Translated by Thu Nguyen