India, Vietnam strengthen defence, security ties

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The Vietnamese President arrived in New Delhi on Friday on a three-day visit to India at the invitation of President Kovind.

"Prime Minister Modi had stressed that, Vietnam is India's top priority in the Asia-Pacific region".

Speaking highly of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech during the ASEAN-India Summit, President Quang said only via increasingly closer links across infrastructure, trade, investment, culture, education - training, science - technology, India and ASEAN could build up power to create a new development space for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

He said that both countries respect the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), adding that the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will continue to be deepened.

"We will jointly work for an open, independent and prosperous Indo-Pacific region where sovereignty and worldwide laws are respected and where differences are resolved through talks", PM Modi said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Both are committed to the centrality of ASEAN in a regional architecture that should be inclusive, open and based on the principles of worldwide law, he added.

The remarks assume significance given China's increasing influence in the Indian Ocean region and aggressive attitude in the South China Sea. However, it has had to step back several times when China, with its superior naval forces and militarised artificial islands, had objected to Vietnam's oil exploration in the disputed region.

"They reiterated the importance of achieving a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region where sovereignty and global law, freedom of navigation and overflight, sustainable development and a free, fair and open trade and investment system are respected", said the bilateral document. The judgement had favoured the Philippines, but it was impossible to enforce, especially after the new Filipino government under President Rodrigo Duterte did not show much interest.

He said India can become provider of inputs for the Vietnam's textile and footwear industry and his country also wants to enhance cooperation with India in tourism sector.

"We consistently support your active participation in regional linkages and cooperation mechanisms, including APEC, as well as India becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council", he said.

The two sides have also agreed that defence and security cooperation is an "important and effective pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and expressed satisfaction at the progress being made in this domain".

During the joint press statement on Saturday PM Modi had said that the two countries chose to cooperate in defence production and explore opportunities in transfer of technology. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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