Meeting with Vietnam’s Vice Minister of National Defence

Today I met with Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vice Minister for National Defence of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Senior Lieutenant General Vinh also attended the Australia-Vietnam Joint Ministerial Meeting, co-chaired by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is visiting Australia along with a number of senior Vietnamese ministers.

During my meeting with Senior Lieutenant General Vinh, we discussed Australia’s defence cooperation with Vietnam. Our defence relationship currently focuses on education and training, English language training, peacekeeping cooperation, Special Forces cooperation and maritime security cooperation.

Also today, Senior Lieutenant General Vinh and Australia’s Major General John Frewen, Acting Vice Chief of the Defence Force, signed an Implementing Arrangement for peacekeeping cooperation between Australia and Vietnam.

Australia and Vietnam are exploring how to expand peacekeeping cooperation in light of Vietnam’s inaugural peacekeeping deployment to the United Nations missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

This was my first meeting with Senior Lieutenant General Vinh and it was a valuable exchange on the growing defence cooperation between Australia and Vietnam.