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Minister for defence to visit Vietnam



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Minister for Defence

Stephen Smith

Minister for Defence to visit Vietnam

27 August 2012

I leave Australia tomorrow to visit Vietnam for talks with my counterpart, Defence Minister

General Phung Quang Thanh.

This will be my third visit to Vietnam as an Australian Government Minister and my second as

Minister for Defence. I will be accompanied by the Secretary of the Department of Defence,

Mr Duncan Lewis.

I look forward to discussing Australia’s growing Defence relationship with Vietnam, together

with regional security issues of mutual interest.

While in Hanoi, I will visit the National Defense College, the Special Forces Officers School

and the Vietnam People’s Army Commissioning School.

Vietnam is emerging as a strong influence in ASEAN and its related forums. As Vietnam

continues to develop, Australia welcomes it taking a greater role in contributing to regional

stability and security.

The growing Defence-to-Defence and Military-to-Military relationship between Australia and

Vietnam is based on our mutual interest in regional security and strengthening ties through

regional and multilateral engagement. In October 2010 Vietnam hosted the inaugural ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), which I attended.

Australia is committed to building these relations through senior level dialogue and practical

cooperation.

In recent years, Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with Vietnam has expanded

considerably to include capacity building for United Nations Peacekeeping missions and

Special Forces engagement. This expands on traditional cooperation in officer training and

English language training.

I welcome in particular enhanced practical cooperation and training between Australia and

Vietnam on peacekeeping.

Australia has been pleased to provide training to 80 Vietnamese personnel who are preparing

for deployment to UN peacekeeping missions.

Australia and Vietnam have boosted naval cooperation, including a program of regular ship

visits. HMAS Sydney will visit Vietnam in October.

Australia offers over 80 places to Vietnam People’s Army personnel to take part in English

language training in Australia each year.

Australia also trains over 100 personnel in English skills each year at the Vietnam People’s

Army Commissioning School. I look forward to opening a second Australian-sponsored

English language laboratory at the Military Technical Academy, which will train over 700

Vietnamese students annually.

Media Contacts:

Mr Smith’s Office: Ellen Shields (02) 6277 7800 or 0400 347 473

Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999