Defense Vice-Ministerial Dialogue Between PH and Vietnam Launched

With the end view of promoting high level exchanges between their respective defense officials, the Philippines and Vietnam had their first Defense Vice-Ministerial Dialogue in Ha Noi, Vietnam on April 13. In that dialogue, Philippine Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio S. Azcueta and Vietnam’s Senior Lieutenant General Chi Vinh shared views on the security challenges faced by respective countries and had the sense that maritime security, natural disasters as well as relations among the major powers in the region are the key issues that affect the PH and Vietnam.

With their respective working group officials presenting the results of their meeting held earlier in the day, the two vice-ministers agreed to further enhance defense cooperation between the PH and Vietnam by maintaining current programs and pursuing new modalities of cooperation. The two defense vice-ministers also stressed that PH and Vietnam need to coordinate more closely to contribute to the centrality and solidarity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and to ensure that the interest of major powers do not predominate in regional multilateral bodies, specifically the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

USEC Azcueta and his delegation also paid a call courtesy on Vietnam’s Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh. In that courtesy call, the minister acknowledged the results of both the vice-ministerial dialogue and working group meeting and stressed that the Philippines and Vietnam need to further deepen cooperation, enhance personal ties and play a more proactive role in regional affairs.