Vietnam and the European Union (EU) have inked an agreement on the establishment of a framework for Vietnam’s participation in crisis management activities of the EU.
Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich (L), and Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini
On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, GeneralNgo Xuan Lich, Politburo member and Minister of National Defence, and VicePresident of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU forForeign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the EU sidesigned the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) in Belgium’s capital ofBrussels on October 17.
The signing of the FPA marked an importantdevelopment milestone in the bilateral defence relations, contributing toenhancing and deepening the Vietnam-EU Framework Agreementon Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA).
The FPA serves as the foundation for the signingof specific cooperation agreements between the two sides.
It also paves the way for Vietnam to joinhumanitarian crisis management activities, based on fundamental principles ofthe UN Charter and international law, of which the most important principle isthe right to select areas and level of participation suitable with therespective partner’s external policies, demands and capability.
Based on that principle, the Vietnamese Ministryof National Defence has chosen to work with the EU in establishing a defencepolicy dialogue with the European External Action Service, training, participatingin the UN peacekeeping activities and addressing post-war consequences.
For the EU, the signing of the FPA will helppromote cooperation with Vietnam, making it easier for the union to strengthencollaboration with the Asia-Pacific region.
Apart from Vietnam, the EU has signed the FPAwith the Republic of Korea and Australia in the region.
After the signing ceremony, Minister Lich had ameeting with Federica Mogherini, during which the two sides affirmed theirdetermination to boost the bilateral defence partnership to increase mutualunderstanding and support the regional security architecture with theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) playing the central role.
Lich said the Vietnamese defence ministrysupports the EU’s aspiration to join the Asia-Pacific security architectures,while Federica Mogherini said the EU believes that Vietnam will make morecontributions to the maintenance of regional peace, stability and developmentas rotating Chair of ASEAN in 2020.
The two sides agreed to step up cooperation incoping with common security challenges, including non-traditional ones such assearch and rescue, and combating piracy and armed robbery targeting ships,organised crime and trafficking, in accordance with international law.
Federica Mogherini said the EU and its membercountries are concerned about the complicated situation in the East Sea inrecent time.
The EU called on involved parties to comply withinternational law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Lawof the Sea (UNCLOS).
The EU supports negotiations to reach a Code ofConduct in the East Sea (COC) in a transparent manner for the interests ofcountries in the region and partner nations, she said.
Earlier on October 16, Minister Lich held ameeting with Chairman of the European Union MilitaryCommittee (CEUMC), General Claudio Graziano.
The two sides recognised the bilateral effortsin promoting defence cooperation, especially in high-level military delegationexchanges, training, and joining the UN peacekeeping activities. They agreed tofurther enhance collaboration in the aforesaid fields.
Minister Lich proposed the EU continuesupporting the Vietnamese defence ministry in training English and French forVietnamese military personnel.
The ministry is willing to welcome officers fromthe EU and member countries to attend Vietnamese language and strategy researchcourses at Vietnam’s military academies, he said.
He added that the ministry welcomes the EU shipsto pay friendly visits to Vietnamese seaports based on Vietnam’s legalregulations.
He asked General Claudio Graziano to use hisposition to create conditions for Vietnam to boost defence cooperation with theEU in general and its member countries in particular.
Minister Lich invited the CEUMC Chairman tovisit Vietnam at an appropriate time.
Claudio Graziano voiced his hope that Vietnamwill serve as a bridge to bolster cooperative relations, including defenceties, between the EU and ASEAN as well as the bloc’s member states./. VNA