Australian naval ship cancels Vietnam visit

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Australian naval frigate HMAS Ballarat. Photo courtesy of Australian Consulate-General

The goodwill visit of Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Ballarat to Vietnam has been canceled at the last minute due to an engineering defect, the Australian embassy said Wednesday (August 21).

The vessel must directly travel to Singapore for "emergency repairs," the embassy said in a notice just one day before the five-day visit was expected to start.

The note did not specify the problem or what had caused it.

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An earlier release had quoted Australian defence attaché Matthew Dudley as saying the visit would promote defense cooperation between the two countries, which was established in 1999 and reaffirmed during a meeting between defense ministers in Canberra in February this year.

The Australian Defense Force has trained more than 1,300 officers of Vietnam People's Army in Vietnam and Australia since 1999, and is now helping the Vietnamese army to prepare for their future participation in peacekeeping operations, Dudley had said.

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