Vietnamese, US defence chiefs hold talks

Wednesday, 2017-08-09 14:26:17
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At the talks (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Defence Minister, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Washington D.C., on August 8, following a welcome ceremony which took place the same day.

Lich, who is on a US visit from August 7-10, said that Vietnam considers the US as one of the most important partners and always prioritises the development of the bilateral ties based on the principles of equality, respect for political regimes, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country.

He spoke highly of the US’s collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guards in law enforcement at sea, as well as in the United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The two officials hailed the outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral defence ties, covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities.

They agreed to reinforce coordination under the signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery efforts in Vietnam, response to non-traditional security challenges, in addition to the UN peacekeeping activities.

Regarding the dioxin clean-up in contaminated areas, Lich said the two sides have concluded the first stage of the Da Nang airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are also conducting studies to launch a similar project at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai.

Both host and guest spoke about the upcoming visit to Vietnam by a US aircraft carrier, saying that the agencies concerned will further discuss the trip once the carrier has met the necessary technical requirements.

Mattis, for his part, lauded Vietnam for its effective joint efforts in searching for the remains of US servicemen listed as Missing in Action (MIA) during the war.

He pledged continued support to Vietnam in searching for the remains of Vietnamese soldiers missing in the war and cleaning up the traces of dioxin at Bien Hoa airport.

On the occasion, Lich handed over a new document on the locations where they are searching for the remains of MIA servicemen to the host, making it easier for both sides to continue the effort.

In the afternoon of the same day, Lich visited the US Coast Guard.