Last update 2/22/2012 11:18:00 AM (GMT+7)

Australia, Vietnam boost national defence and diplomacy

VietNamNet Bridge – The first Vietnam-Australia National Defence and Diplomacy Strategic Dialogue was held in Canberra, Australia, on February 21.

At the meeting, co-chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh, Deputy Minister of National Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh and their Australian counterparts Gillian Bird and Peter Jennings, both sides expressed their delight at the development of the strategic partnership in all fields including diplomacy, national defence, economics, trade, and education-training. Two-way trade in 2011 reached US$4.6 billion, up 12 percent against the previous year.

They reaffirmed that Vietnam and Australia will cooperate closely with each other to raise their relations to a new level by continuing to implement the Vietnam-Australia Action Programme for 2010-2013, promoting exchanges of delegations at all levels, and signing agreements on cooperation and trade and investment promotion. They will also work closely together in international and regional forums such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the United Nations.

The Australian side said it attaches great importance to strengthening ties with Vietnam and commits to providing the Southeast Asian nation with more Official Development Assistance (ODA) and educational scholarships.

During the working session, both sides informed each other of their country’s policies and orientations, and discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern. They also praised joint efforts to promote cooperation and dialogue, and build trust for peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region.

They said they both support ASEAN in cementing the alliance and creating an ASEAN Community, in addition to backing ASEAN’s central role in building a regional structure for cooperation.

Both host and guest highly valued ASEAN’s important contributions to maintaining peace, security, cooperation and development in the region and reaffirmed they will cooperate closely to improve the effectiveness of regional cooperation mechanisms including the EAS, ARF, and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

They also stressed the importance of regional cooperation in dealing with emerging challenges such as climate change, rising sea levels, and water resources security.

Regarding the East Sea issues, both sides emphasized the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the region, as well as settling disputes through peaceful negotiations in accordance with international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLOS 1982), and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

They also discussed measures to boost cooperation in disarmament, internet security, anti-terrorism, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.