Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang at the talks

During the talks, the Vietnamese defense minister stressed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam and Australia have reinforced the two countries’ strategic partnership in general and the bilateral defense ties in particular. He believed that the online talks would help tighten defense cooperation, making an important contribution to the relationship between the two nations.

The Vietnamese defense chief thanked the Australian Government and people for their precious support over the past time, especially the commitment to aiding Vietnam with 5.2 million of COVID-19 vaccine doses. He also thanked the Australian Department of Defense for its suggestion of presenting Vietnamese counterpart with medical supplies. This, as General Giang said, demonstrated the friendship and mutual support between the two defense ministries.

“We hope that in the coming time, the Australian Department of Defense will continue to support Vietnam in the field, especially helping the Vietnamese counterpart have access to COVID-19 vaccine sources. This is very important especially in the context that the Vietnam People’s Army is always taking the lead in COVID-19 prevention and control,” said Defense Minister Giang.

The talks between Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang and his Australian counterpart Peter Dutton is held virtually.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, General Giang highly appreciated Australia’s contribution to regional cooperation mechanisms, including ADMM+. He recalled the first ASEAN - Australian Defense Ministers Informal Meeting in Hanoi last February and voiced Vietnam’s support for the second meeting in the coming days.

For his part, Australian Minister for Defense Peter Dutton confirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of Australia. He expressed his delight at the shared viewpoints and common vision between the two sides.

Speaking highly of the outcomes of the bilateral defense ties over the past time, the Australian defense chief highlighted the maintenance of exchanges, contacts, increased efficiency of consultation and dialogue mechanisms, enhanced cooperation in training, and experience-sharing between arms and services and in the United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations.

The Australian official confirmed that Australia will continue assisting Vietnam in transporting the personnel and equipment of its Level-2 Field Hospital (L2FH) to U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2022 and giving necessary assistance to the transportation of Vietnamese peacekeepers in coming years if conditions permit.

The talks is hoped to help tighten the bilateral defense cooperation.

He also took this chance to thank Vietnam for its support for upgrading the Australia - ASEAN ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and for the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement at the recent ASEAN - Australia Summit.

Highly valuing Australia’s commitment to transporting Vietnam’s L2FH to UNMISS, General Giang underscored that Australia’s effective support not only helps Vietnam perform its responsibility toward the international community, but also demonstrates the effective cooperation between the two countries.

During the talks, the two officials reached consensus on continuing holding consultation and dialogue mechanisms, sharing experience among naval, air, army, and military medical forces, settling war legacy, and on expanding cooperation in such fields that meet each side’s needs and capabilities as cyber security and defense industry.

Translated by Mai Huong