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Viet Nam, Australia hold defence, diplomacy dialogue

(VNA - 21/02/2012) - The first Viet Nam-Australia Defence and Diplomacy Strategic Dialogue took place in the Australian capital city of Canberra on Feb. 21.

The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, and their Australian counterparts, Gillian Bird and Peter Jennings.

The two sides expressed pleasure at the development of the bilateral strategic partnership in all fields, including diplomacy, national defence, economics, trade, investment, and education and training. By the end of last year, two-way trade reached over 4.6 billion USD, up 12 percent from 2010.

They pledged to continue working closely to lift relations to a new height, to mark the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries by 2013, by effectively implementing the Viet Nam-Australia Action Plan for the 2010-2013 period, increasing the exchange of visits at all levels, stepping up the signing of cooperative agreements and promoting trade and investment.

The Australian side said it attaches importance to multifaceted cooperation with Viet Nam and the provision of official development assistance and educational scholarships.

Both sides agreed to work closely at regional and international forums, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and the United Nations.

At the event, they exchanged information about each other’s policies and orientation, including diplomacy and defence. The Vietnamese side informed Australia about the 11 th National Party Congress policy of national construction and development, along with the diplomatic policy of independence, self-control, diversification and multilateralisation of international relations and integration in a proactive and responsible manner.

The two sides backed ASEAN’s efforts to enhance connectivity and create the ASEAN Community as well as ASEAN’s central role in building a regional cooperative structure while highlighting ASEAN’s important contributions to peace, security and cooperation development in the region.

Both sides affirmed they will coordinate to increase the efficiency of regional cooperative mechanisms, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

They also stressed the importance of regional cooperation in coping with emerging challenges such as climate change, rising sea levels and water resources security, including the sustainable use of Mekong river water.

The Australian side affirmed its commitment to effective cooperation and implementation of projects to assist Vietnam in related fields.

Regarding the East Sea issue, both sides emphasised the importance of ensuring peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, settling disputes through peaceful measures, complying to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and promptly creating the Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC).

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

The dialogue took place in a constructive atmosphere of trust, friendship and mutual understanding. Both sides affirmed an intention to regularly maintain this mechanism to further boost trust and mutual understanding. In this spirit, they agreed to conduct the second strategic dialogue in Vietnam at a convenient time next year.

On this occasion, Defence Minister Stephen Smith hosted a reception for the Vietnamese delegation./.

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