Vietnam, US ink deal to boost defense ties

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The defense ministries of Vietnam and the US have agreed to promote cooperation in five priority fields, including sea security, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

They signed a memorandum of understanding to the effect on Monday during their second dialogue on defense policies, which was held Monday in Washington D.C.

The priority fields include establishing a regular high-ranking dialogue mechanism between the US Department of Defense and the Vietnamese defense ministry; sea security; search and rescue, studying and exchanging experience in the United Nations peace keeping activities; and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

The MoU was signed between Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Scher.

First held in Hanoi last year, the annual defense policy dialogue between Vietnam and the US is intended to help the two defense ministries promote cooperation, raise mutual trust and understanding.

The Vietnam News Agency report quoted Vinh as saying that the signing has proved the transparency of the bilateral defense cooperation and Vietnam's independence and self-reliance in defense cooperation.

The most remarkable point during the dialogue, according to Vinh, was the US strong commitment to supporting Vietnam overcome war consequences, especially the clearance of unexploded ordnance.

On the other hand, Vietnam expressed its willingness to help the US seek for Missing-in-Action (MIA) servicemen in the war, VNA quoted Vinh as saying.

For his part, Scher appreciated the signing of MOU, stressing that the two defense ministries will continue working on issues like maritime security and peace keeping activities, according to the newspaper.

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