New development in defense relations between the countries.
Minister of Defense General Phung Quang Thanh and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter signed a Joint Vision Statement on the Defense Relations between the Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense in Hanoi on June 1.
The signing takes place as both countries celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral relations.
Addressing the signing ceremony, General Thanh and Secretary Carter stressed the importance of the statement as a new development in defense relations between the two countries.
According to General Thanh, the statement targets bilateral cooperation on the foundation of the 2011 memorandum of understanding (MoU). “The document also targets deeper friendship and mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, while fostering the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the US on the basis of respecting political institutions, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the laws of each other without harming the security of other states,” he added.
Secretary Carter pledged to support freedom, independence, a strong and prosperous Vietnam, and respect for human rights and the provisions of laws. “The statement is a new step forward in Vietnam-US defense collaboration, especially in the area of maritime security,” he said. “The US and Vietnam are working together to ensure peace and stability in the region as well as in a broader range.”
The Secretary also announced that the US will offer an $18 million support package to Vietnam’s Coast Guard to buy patrol boats and assist Vietnam in building a peacekeeping training centre.
This is the fifth visit to Vietnam by a US Secretary of Defense since the two countries normalized relations. During his stay Secretary Carter held meetings with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang and visited a number of military units of the Vietnam People’s Army.