Vietnam's Vice Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh and India's Defense Secretary at a Ho Chi Minh City meeting November 8. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre
Vietnam and India's defense leaders have pledged to maintain mutual support in national defense to consolidate the strategic partnership between the two countries.
India's Defense Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of a dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday that he has reached major agreements with Nguyen Chi Vinh, vice-Minister of Defense, over the dealings with security challenges for Vietnam as well as India.
Vietnam's challenges are security at sea and that should be solved via dialougues and other peaceful measures according to international laws, Mathur said.
Vinh said Vietnam and India's partnership could boost peace and stability in the region.
"Let's consider us your brothers and Vietnam your second home," Vinh told the Indian delegation.
Mathur said Vietnam would be a pillar of support for India's Look East policy in East Asia, internationally known as the South China Sea. New Delhi has been talking much recently of its security interest in the East Sea bounding Vietnam, southern China and several other countries.
Following a visit to a regiment of Vietnam's Air Force, Mathur said that the country possesses good defense capabilities.
He said India will continue to support Vietnam on defense grounds, and wishes to develop bilateral defense relations with Vietnam into a multilateral partnership with other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members.
The officials also agreed to boost their cooperation on multilateral forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
Vietnam and India signed a memorandum of defense partnership in 2009 and have launched several exchanges of multiple ranks and army units since.
Norman Anil Kumar Browne, chief of staff of Indian Air Force, and Do Ba Ty, chief of the general staff of the People's Army of Vietnam, made commitments in naval and air defense cooperation during the latter's visit in September.
Browne also promised India would help Vietnam prepare for United Nations' peace-keeping activities in the region.
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