PH and Vietnam Defense Cooperation Working Group Convenes Anew

Following their first meeting in 2013, the Philippines and Vietnam convened their defense cooperation working group last April 13. With an acknowledgement that the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation provides the framework of cooperation, the Philippines and Vietnam agreed to further deepen cooperation between their respective defense ministries and armed forces. Current programs and activities such as interaction among their personnel stationed in their respective islands in the West Philippines Sea and East China Sea are to be maintained while new modalities of cooperation such as combined defense and foreign affairs ministerial meetings will be explored.  

Other current activities to be sustained are senior officer exchange programs, language training courses and intelligence exchanges. The new modalities include junior officer exchanges and intelligence analysts exchange. Defense industry and logistics cooperation shall likewise be explored while closer coordination for common positions in multilateral fora shall be undertaken. While the Philippines assured Vietnam that the DND shall assist Vietnam in developing its peacekeeping capacity, Vietnam assured the Philippines that it will support Philippine position in multilateral fora.

The Philippine side was chaired by DND’s Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment Raymund Jose Quilop while the Vietnamese group was led by Major General Vu Chien Thang, Director General of Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense Foreign Relations Department.