Vietnam, Philippines to strengthen military cooperation

TN News

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The military forces of Vietnam and the Philippines will improve their cooperation in the near future, the countries' military leaders agreed at a meeting in Hanoi Wednesday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

According to news agency, the countries will strengthen co-patrols at sea, exercises for rescue and research, and establish a high-ranking hotline, among other activities.

Both Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, chief of the General Staff of Vietnam People's Army, and General Eduardo San Lorenzo Oban, chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, agreed that the countries were yet to utilize their defense cooperation agreement signed last October to its full potential, it said.

At the meeting at Vietnam Ministry of Defense's headquarters in Hanoi, Ty also expressed his gratitude to the Philippines for the recent release of 122 Vietnamese fishermen, and his condolences for the losses that the Filipino people suffered in recent typhoons. 

The fishermen were arrested on May 30 when they entered Filipino waters on a fishing contract with Ho Chi Minh City-based Long Hai Long. Filipino police found that the papers they presented upon arrival weren't legal.

The Vietnamese company signed a contract with the Philippines-based Premiere International Interfishing to acquire fishing licenses for the fishermen. However, the foreign company's representative, Kho Tho Min, has disappeared since the group was detained.

According to Vietnam News Agency, Lorenzo also met with Vietnam defense minister Phung Quang Thanh that day.

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