Vietnam, US set for military medical partnership

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Representatives from the Vietnamese and US militaries signed an agreement on establishing formal military medical partnership between the two countries on Monday, the US Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement.

Colonel Vu Quoc Binh, director general of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense's Military Medical Department, and US Navy Surgeon General Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. co-signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) on Military Medical Cooperation.

The SOI builds on a long trend of cooperation between the US and Vietnamese militaries and will be the foundation for all future military medical and interagency medical engagements that will include subject matter expert exchanges, workshops, conferences, Medical Civil Action Projects (MEDCAPS), clinical exchanges, and medical research collaboration.

"Our growing partnership with Vietnam in the field of military medical engagements demonstrates that medicine is a common language that bridges barriers," said Robinson.

"The United States and Vietnam will continue our friendship and collaboration in bilateral and regional security issues, and we look forward to our expanded partnership in the areas of public health research, medical education and more."

The signing ceremony represented progress on one of the key areas of military cooperation that former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Vietnamese Minister of Defense Phung Quang Thanh agreed to pursue in October 2010, the US Navy said in a statement released on its website Monday.

Robinson is visiting Hanoi to co-chair a planning conference on bilateral military medical cooperation with the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense.

Topics of discussion will include Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response, infectious disease research, aerospace and undersea medicine and more.

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