Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich held phone talks with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tea Banh on September 8 in Hanoi.

 General Tea Banh thanked the Vietnamese army for helping Cambodia in various fields, particularly in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He congratulated Vietnam’s Defence Ministry on the successful organisation of many ASEAN military-defence conferences amid the complex development. He also expressed his gratitude for the ministry’s coordination in organising activities to mark the 43rd anniversary of the “Road to topple the Pol Pot genocidal regime” in Binh Phuoc province in June, saying this important event should be held annually.

Vietnam’s Armed Forces

General Ngo Xuan Lich affirmed that Vietnam always attaches great importance to the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia. The Vietnamese army stands ready to share experience and give support to the Cambodian side in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in building capacity for the Cambodian army, he stressed.

Speaking highly of bilateral defence cooperation since the beginning of the year, the two defence ministers agreed that both sides have given timely support to each other in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including sharing experience and medical supplies.

In the time to come, the two sides agreed to continue cooperative activities, including improving the efficiency of cooperative mechanisms, particularly the defence policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level, working to complete cooperative frameworks, and enhancing collaboration between border guard forces to prevent transnational crime and trafficking. They will support each other at multilateral defence cooperation forums within the ASEAN framework as well as mechanisms in which ASEAN plays a central role.

On the same day, General Ngo Xuan Lich held phone talks with his Lao counterpart General Chansamone Chanyalath to review bilateral defence cooperation and discuss cooperation directions for the time to come.

General Chansamone Chanyalath highlighted the significance of the talks and thanked the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and units of the Vietnamese army for supporting the Lao army, especially in providing support and medical supplies to help Laos in the fight against COVID-19. He also congratulated Vietnam on its successful organisation of military-defence meetings as the country assumes its role as Chair of ASEAN in 2020.

General Chansamone Chanyalath affirmed that the Lao Defence Ministry will continue to support and coordinate closely with Vietnam to successfully take over its role as Chair of ASEAN 2020 and organise the ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Meeting, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and ADMM Plus as well. General Ngo Xuan Lich affirmed that Vietnam is ready to continue sharing experience with and supporting Laos to effectively address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as help the Lao People’s Army improve its capacity.

During the talks, the two ministers held that defence cooperation is an important pillar in the bilateral relations, and it has contributed to maintaining defence-security stability and promoting socio-economic development in each country.

The two sides affirmed that they will coordinate to review and promptly direct agencies of the two ministries to well implement cooperation agreements reached by senior leaders of the two Parties and States as well as the cooperation plan between the two ministries. They will also take measures to improve the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms, especially the deputy ministerial-level defence policy exchange, border management and protection, transnational crime prevention, and combating smuggling and drug trafficking crime, and illegal immigration.

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