Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and South Africa’s Minister of Defense and Military Veteran Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula reviewed the guards-of-honor.

On the afternoon of August 22, General Ngo Xuan Lich hosted an official reception for the South African Defense Minister at the Headquarters of the Vietnamese Defense Ministry. General Lich expressed pleasure to welcome South African Minister of Defense and Military Veteran Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula and the South African delegation to Vietnam and believed that the visit would create a new momentum for the Vietnam-South African relations to flourish for cooperation and development.

For her part, the South African Defense Minister thanked the host for the warm reception and affirmed that the bilateral defense cooperation is contributing importantly to strengthening friendship and cooperation between the two nations and promoting peace, cooperation and development in the region and world.

At the talks after the reception, Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich exchanged views on regional and international situations with his South African counterpart. Regarding the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, General Lich affirmed that Vietnam always supports the preservation of peace, stability and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea as well as respects sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal nations as defined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), considering it a responsibility of relevant countries and international community.

He added that Vietnam is willing to contribute to the international community’s efforts for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development of countries in the region and the rest of the world and is resolved and consistent to protect its legal and legitimate rights and interests in the East Sea by peaceful means.

Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and South African counterpart Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula posing for a joint photo

At the talks, the two ministers reached high consensus on the overall assessment of the Vietnam-South Africa defense relations over the past time, based on the agreement on defense cooperation signed in 2006 and agreed to foster cooperation in their potential fields in the coming time. 

Accordingly, the two sides will maintain the Vietnam-South Africa Defense Policy Dialogue which is a practical and effective consultation mechanism for the development of bilateral defense cooperation in particular and friendship and cooperation of the two countries in general. They will also accelerate delegation exchanges to promote mutual understanding and trust. 

The two sides also discussed the possibility of cooperation in defense industry, including technology transfer, one of the potential fields for bilateral cooperation. They agreed to expand cooperation in telecommunications research and create favorable conditions for Vietnam’s Military-run Industry-Telecoms Group Viettel to invest in the South African market.

Regarding personnel training, Vietnam asked South Africa to provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students to study English, science-technology, computer science, military medicine and logistics. The Vietnamese Defense Minister also affirmed that Vietnam is willing to welcome South African military students to Vietnam to learn Vietnamese and join defense policy research courses at the National Defense Academy. He added that Vietnam prioritizes cooperation in military medicine, military equipment, traditional medicine and the exchange of experts based on requests from South Africa.

In the coming time, the two countries will also enhance cooperation in and share experience in the United Nations peacekeeping activities along with building military, medical and engineering forces for this field. In addition, they will study the possibility of supporting each other in peacekeeping missions, especially in South Sudan and other African countries.

At the talks

The two ministers also discussed the two countries’ coordination in anti-terrorism. Vietnam welcomes the South African Special Forces Brigade to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time to study cooperation opportunities between the two countries.

In the framework of the visit, South African Minister of Defense and Military Veteran Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula and South African delegation offered incense and laid a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and visited the General Department of Defense Industry, Viettel and some historical and cultural relics in Hanoi and Ha Long.

Translated by Tran Hoai