Minister of Defence Hon Ron Mark met with General Ngo Xuan Lich, Viet Nam Minister of Defence, in Wellington today for a counterpart visit.
“New Zealand is committed to enhancing defence cooperation with Viet Nam in peacekeeping, maritime security, professional military education and training, and through strategic dialogue,” says Mr Mark. “Minister Lich’s visit to New Zealand is an opportunity to further deepen regional security cooperation and to support the elevation of bilateral relations between our two countries.”
The Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018 that was released earlier this year highlighted the importance of broadening our security partnerships in the region.
Defence relations with Viet Nam in recent times have deepened, characterised by the frigate HMNZS Te Mana visiting Ho Chi Minh City in September, and reinforced by New Zealand actively contributing to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting –Plus (ADMM-Plus) framework.
“The ADMM-Plus plays an important role in fostering stability, peace and security in the region by promoting understanding, entrenching patterns of dialogue and facilitating practical cooperation,” says Mr Mark.
The visit builds on the momentum gained through Vietnamese Prime Minister Phuc’s visit to New Zealand in March this year where the Joint Statement on Advancing the Comprehensive Partnership Toward the Strategic Partnership was signed between the two countries.