The annual Australia-Vietnam Defence Ministers’ Meeting was held in Sydney today. The meeting focused on shared regional interests and challenges, and celebrated 20 years of bilateral defence relations.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP co-chaired the meeting with Vietnam’s Minister for Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich. The Ministers discussed the strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and opportunities for enhancing defence cooperation, including maritime security.
Minister Pyne welcomed the signing of a Joint Vision Statement on Further Defence Cooperation, which will guide the expansion of defence cooperation between Australia and Vietnam in areas such as maritime security, and peacekeeping cooperation.
“As our defence relationship enters its third decade, Australia and Vietnam are committed to strengthening peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region on the basis of a system that is rules-based, rather than coercive, and in which the rights of all states, big and small, are protected.” Minister Pyne said.
The Ministers also recognised Vietnam’s efforts to build its capacity to support international peace and security through peacekeeping deployments. Most recently, a Vietnamese military hospital was deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan with airlift support provided by Australia.
“Today’s meeting was an excellent opportunity to exchange views on how Australia and Vietnam can further cooperate practically in areas of mutual interest in our region and beyond,” Minister Pyne said.