Mon, 18 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], January 13 (ANI): Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh reaffirmed the commitment to strengthen the bilateral defence relationship between the two countries on Tuesday at the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue held via video conference.

"Our bilateral defence relationsengagements have increased multifold in effectivepractical manner over past decade," said Ajay Kumar.

India and Vietnam, with historical roots in the common struggle for liberation from colonial rule and the national struggle for independence, share traditionally close and cordial bilateral relations.

Earlier, in December 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a virtual summit. During the summit, they exchanged views on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and global issues and set forth the following Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People to guide the future development of India - Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Both leaders further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS, that does not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of all nations including those not party to these negotiations.

Recognizing the important role of their cooperation amidst the emerging geopolitical and geoeconomic landscape in the region and beyond, PM Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed that enhanced defence and security partnership between India and Vietnam will be an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indo-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system. (ANI)

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