Italian Minister of National Defense Giampaolo di Paola (R) and his Vietnamese counterpart, Phung Quang Thanh, shake hands in Hanoi on January 10
Italy's Minister of National Defense, Admiral Giampaolo di Paola, visited Vietnam from January 10-12 in honor of the 40-year anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
His first-ever trip to Vietnam was made at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phung Quang Thanh.
The admiral was accompanied by his high-ranking officials from the Italian ministry.
Two sides held talks about regional and international issues including those related to the Southeast Asian region in general and the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, in particular.
Thanh said during Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong's official visit to Italy scheduled for later this month, Italy and Vietnam are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Rome on the bilateral national defense cooperation, which was discussed during Paola's visit to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese defense minister was quoted by Tien Phong newspaper as saying on January 10 that the visit of Italian delegation will help foster the diplomatic relations between the two countries' military and people.
Paola said he hopes the East Sea region will stabilize in order secure economic and financial activities.
Italy is willing to offer scholarships to Vietnamese officers to study in the southern European country, Paola said.
During his visit to Vietnam, the Italian defense minister also met with other high-ranking officials such as Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on January 10 and Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, on January 12.
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