Prior to the important regional defense event, General Lich had separate meetings with his Thai and Lao counterparts.

At the meeting with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, General Lich highly valued the role of Thailand in ASEAN and congratulated the country on its successful organization of the general election and establishment of a new government. General Lich believed that Thailand will continue growing stably under the reign of the King Rama X and the management of the new Thai Government. He also hoped that the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries will be developed in a more practical and effective manner.

At the meetings between General Ngo Xuan Lich and his Thai counterpart

The host affirmed that the new Thai Government will continue promoting relations and cooperation with Vietnam in all fields, particularly defense ties.

General Lich also extended his congratulations on Thailand’s successful organization of regional military-defense events. He said, “I strongly believed that Thailand in its capacity as the Chairman of ASEAN will hold the next regional military-defense events successfully, contributing to consolidating the internal unity and leading role of ASEAN and promoting regional defense cooperation more effectively.”

The two defense ministers noted that the bilateral defense cooperation has seen positive developments, particularly exchange of delegations at all levels, cooperation between military services, corps and research institutions of the two countries, and coordination between the two sides at multilateral forums, since the Vietnam visit on January 2019 of Thai Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan.

Regarding orientations for the bilateral cooperation in the time to come, the two defense ministers agreed to bring into full play the current cooperation mechanisms by focusing on cooperation in logistics, UN peacekeeping operations, clearing war-left unexploded ordnance, military medicine and maritime law enforcement.

The two sides also stressed the importance of close coordination, regular consultation and mutual support at multilateral defense and security forums.

General Ngo Xuan Lich and General Chansamone Chanyalath

General Lich reconfirmed that Vietnam supports initiatives of Thailand as the 2019 Chairman of ASEAN, including discussion on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, impacts on security and role of armed forces and defense agencies, a draft of ADMM initiatives to ensure substantive cooperation, the role of defense agencies and armies of ASEAN member states in supporting border management.

The Thai Defense Minister highly appreciated Vietnam’s support for Thailand’ chairmanship of ASEAN, and affirmed that the Thai side will strongly back Vietnam when it takes the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020 for the sake of ASEAN’s common interests.

At the meeting between Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich and Lao Defense Minister General Chansamone Chanyalath, the two sides expressed delight at the fine developments in the bilateral defense ties in the past time and reaffirmed that the enhancement of the bilateral defense relations and cooperation between the two countries is vital to the revolutionary cause of each country.

General Lich stressed that the Party, State, military of Vietnam always treasure its relations and cooperation with Laos, and consider its support for Laos a support for itself.

General Chansamone Chanyalath thanked Vietnam for its wholehearted and pure support for Laos in its two national liberation wars against foreign invaders in the past, as well as in its current national construction and development. He also reconfirmed that Laos will strongly support Vietnam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020.

The two defense ministers noted that the Vietnam-Lao defense relations are always defined as one of the major pillars in the overall relations of the two countries. The two defense officials considered 2019 an important year as the sides will review the implementation of the Protocol in the period 2015-19 and draw up a Protocol for the next five years. The two sides have so far agreed on major directions to coordinate closely with each other in reviewing and assessing outcomes of the implementation of the Protocol as well as pointing out limitations and difficulties in order to better perform the next Protocol. 

Regarding orientations for the bilateral defense cooperation in the coming time, the two defense ministers agreed that the two sides should focus on disseminating and educating the close friendship and great, special unity of the two nations and militaries for young generations of the two countries. The two defense officials entrusted the two General Departments of Politics of the two militaries to join efforts to draft annual traditional friendship dissemination programs during national events and anniversaries of each country while investing more in maintenance of the monuments and projects symbolizing the friendship of the two peoples and militaries. 

Reported by Thu Trang from Bangkok, Thailand

Translated by Thu Nguyen