Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of Socialist Republic of Vietnam General Ngo Xuan Lich held bilateral talks via video-conferencing, on Thursday. During the talks, both the ministers reaffirmed the strong India-Vietnam defence cooperation which is a key pillar of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries. They discussed various ongoing projects and the future trajectory of bilateral defence engagements. The Defence Ministers expressed satisfaction that despite the Covid-19 situation defence exchanges between both Armed Forces have maintained a positive momentum. Both the Ministers discussed collaboration in defence industry capability building, training and cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations.
In a further step towards deeper bilateral cooperation, both sides signed an Implementing Arrangement for cooperation in the field of Hydrography between National Hydrographic Office, India and Vietnam Hydrographic Office in the presence of the two Ministers. The Arrangement will enable sharing of Hydrographic data and assist in production of navigational charts by both sides. Raksha Mantri underlined Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat for enhancing self-reliance including defence industries. He outlined that a strong and self-reliant India shall positively contribute to capacity building of friendly partner countries like Vietnam. He urged for closer defence industry cooperation between India and Vietnam by concluding an institutionalised framework Agreement in the near future. Raksha Mantri appreciated Vietnam’s innovative and successful leadership of defence-related events in ASEAN during its presidency of ASEAN despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Vietnamese Defence Minister thanked the Raksha Mantri for the assistance by Indian Armed Forces in capacity building of Vietnamese Defence Forces especially in the field of Human Resource development. Rajnath Singh conveyed India’s willingness to enhance the scope and level of training for all three services of Vietnam Defence forces in Indian Defence Institutes. Vietnamese Defence Minister also invited the Singh for ADMM Plus meeting being hosted by Vietnam on 10 December 2020, through virtual mode.