Defence Minister Antony to leave for Vietnam

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New Delhi, Dec 14 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony will leave for a three-day visit to Vietnam on Sunday where he is expected to hold meetings with his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Tanh.

Additional Secretary (Defence) P K Rastogi, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General M L Naidu, Air Marshal V R Iyer and Vice Admiral D K Dewan will accompany him on the tour.

During his stay, Mr Antony would make a courtesy call on Vietnam Prsident Nguyen Minh Triet and legendary leader G Vo Nguyen Giap and visit various defence installations in Ho chi Minh city besides holding discussions with the Indian Chamber of Business. While Indo-Vietnamese Defence cooperation has been growing steadily over the years through visits by military delegations, shift visits from India and training of Vietnamese Defence personnel in India, the relationship got a boost in 1994 with the signing of the Protocol on Defence Cooperation.

In July 2007, the two countries agreed on a 'strategic partnership' during the visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister to India. Vietnam is now a member of the UN Security Council for a period of two years.

During the third India-Vietnam Security Dialogue last month, the two countries had taken a number of decisions to further boost relations which included exchange of visits for better appreciation of requirements and problems, greater cooperation in the field of training of service personnel--particularly involving junior level officers, security dialogue at least once a year, sharing of expertise on issues of common concern such as maritime security, border management and counter insurgency, and training of Vietnamese officers in the field of UN Peacekeeping operations.

UNI

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