Antony meets legendary Vietnamese General Giap

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today met legendary Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, who earned world fame by defeating three of the five permament members of UN Security Council - France, United States and China.

A master of modern gureilla warfare, General Giap achieved Independence and unity of Vietnam despite the efforts of the French, Americans and his countrymen.

Longest serving Defence Minister of Vietnam, the 1912 born General Giap appeared frail but showed no sign of memory loss as he recounted vividly fond remembrances of his two visits to India during his interaction with Mr Antony, an official statement said here.

He recalled the contributions of former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh in providing a solid foundation to Indo-Vietnamese relations.

General Giap, who was the Defence Minister from 1945 to 1979, also recalled contributions India had made to Vietnam during periods of war and for unification and reconstruction of his country.

"Therefore, I feel like meeting old friends," he told Mr Antony at his residence in Hanoi.

He appreciated the giant strides made by India in science and technology, especially in Information Technology and expressed the hope that ''the Indian advantage'' would also be extended to the people of Vietnam. He requested Mr Antony to convey his best wishes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mr Antony said it was a really ''happy and exciting day'' for him as in his youth he had read about the heroism of Gen Giap and that he was meeting him in person today. He said Gen Giap's heroic acts were indeed lessons in warfare.

Gen Giap, who went to the same school in Hue in Central Vietnam as Ho Chi Minh and late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, presented a copy of his memoir "People's War, People's Army" to Mr Antony.

UNI

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