India, Vietnam to enhance defence ties

Written by: By Our Defence Bureau
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New Delhi, June 6: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar arrived, who is in Hanoi on an official visit to Vietnam, met his counterpart Gen Ngo Xuan Lich. Parrikar is Gen Lich's first state guest since his appointment in April 2016.

According to Ministry of Defence officials, both ministers reviewed the entire spectrum of defence cooperation initiatives between the two countries and focussed on measures to further strengthen their bilateral defence relations.

 parrikar

Parrikar is said to have complimented Vietnam on their successful participation in the International Fleet Review held at the port city of Visakhapatnam in February 2016. He also visited the elite 308 Division and complimented the efforts of the Vietnam People's Army soldiers on their contribution in the past.

The Defence Minister also visited the Research and Development facilities of Viettel Group of industries and both leaders emphasised the need for greater defence industry cooperation.

"The minister attended a business roundtable meeting comprising defence industry delegates from the two countries. The meeting focussed on enhancing the defence industry networking, information sharing and exploration of possibilities for partnerships and collaborations between the two countries," says a MoD release.

The Vietnam Border Guards is said to have handed over a bid document to Larson and Toubro Limited during the meeting.

India has recently provided Vietnam with a US$100 million Line of Credit which is being utilised by Vietnam for procurement of Offshore Patrol Boats for their Border Guards.
Both leaders agreed to share information in the maritime domain in addition to enhancing hydrographic cooperation.

MoD says the visit by Parrikar underlines the strategic importance of the defence relationship and the personal priority that the leaders of both countries place on their strong bilateral relationship.

Ahead of Parrikar's visit, media had widely reported that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cleared a proposal to offer BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to Vietnam. Parrikar is expected to have discussions with the Vietnamese officials in this regard.

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