Vietnam strengthens military ties with Australia

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received Australia's Defense Minister Stephen Smith in Hanoi on Wednesday as the military relationship between the two countries continues to expand, Vietnam News Agency reported.

He also expressed satisfaction over the outcomes of talks between the two countries' defense ministers Smith and his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh which took place earlier in the day.

He said Smith's visit would contribute to promoting multifaceted co-operation between the two countries.

Regarding defense co-operation, Dung proposed both sides actively implement their agreements, particularly agreements reached by the two ministers during the visit.

Smith said his visit aimed to further enhance co-operation between the two countries and the two defense ministries.

He said the cooperation between the two ministries had been effective in various aspects, especially in peacekeeping and training.

The Australian Defense Ministry would closely work with the Vietnamese Defense Ministry to implement their cooperation agreements, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, during talks between Smith and Thanh, they reviewed recent cooperation efforts and discussed measures to further strengthen ties by working towards the implementation of their 2010 memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation.

They also exchanged views on international and regional issues, indicating that the two nations would work together to promote peace, friendship and cooperation.

They agreed to continue consulting each other in multilateral forums and to promote bilateral dialogue at various levels.


Finding peace, decades after war

The two ministries agreed to continue to expand the Australian English training program for Vietnamese military staff and discuss issues relating to security in the Asia Pacific region on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Smith added that his ministry would assist Vietnam in the clearance of wartime bombs and land mines.

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