Defence ministers of Vietnam and the Philippines agreed to effectively implement a defence cooperation agreement during talks in Manila on August 27.
Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh and his Filipino counterpart Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin agreed to exchange delegation visits, establish a defence policy dialogue mechanism at the Deputy Ministerial level, and increase training with a focus on language training and information exchange.
They underlined the need to strengthen cooperation between the two countries’ military units, especially the naval forces, through setting up a direct hotline and conducting joint search and rescue work.
General Thanh thanked the Philippine government and army for supporting Vietnamese fishermen in distress at sea, and proposed humane treatment for detained fishermen when they violate the Philippines’ territorial waters.
Secretary Gazmin welcomed Thanh’s visit, which he said will help foster the Vietnam-Philippines friendship and cooperative ties in various areas, including national defence, in the interest of the two nations, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.
At a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III the same day, General Thanh expressed his hope that the President will support national defence cooperation between the two militaries, particularly in sharing experience in defending national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and exclusive economic zones of each country.
President Aquino spoke highly of Vietnam’s role in the region and voiced his support for the two militaries to effectively implement signed agreements, including those on staff training and coast guarding.
General Thanh visited the Philippines on August 26-27 at the invitation of Secretary Gasmin.