NEW DELHI: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba is undertaking a three-day visit to Vietnam Âto explore new avenues’ of defence cooperation and to further consolidate the cooperation between Indian and Vietnamese armed forces.
During his visit from October 4 to 7, the Naval Chief will hold bilateral discussions with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich, Chief of the General Staff Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, and Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam PeopleÂs Navy Rear Admiral Pham Hoai Nam.
The Admiral will also be visiting the National Defence Academy of Vietnam, where he will interact with student officers and faculty members and deliver a talk on the ÂImportance of Maritime PowerÂ, Defence Ministry said in a statement here on Tuesday.
Besides, he will visit Vietnam PeopleÂs Navy ÂNaval Region 4Â, Vietnam Naval Academy and lay a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Defence cooperation between India and Vietnam has been robust with the primary focus being maritime cooperation.
India signed a Protocol on Defence Cooperation Agreement in 1994. The partnership was thereafter elevated to Strategic Partnership in 2007 and a MoU on Defence Cooperation between the countries was signed on November 5, 2009.
A ÂJoint Vision Statement for 2015-20Â was signed by the respective Defence Ministers in May 2015 and the Strategic Partnership was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in September 2016, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam.
The Vietnam PeopleÂs Navy participates in the ÂMILANÂ inter-Navy interactions organised at Port Blair by the Indian Navy. Warships from Indian Navy have been regularly visiting ports at Vietnam, with Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmat recently making port call at Hai Phong from 23 to 27 September 2017.
The Vietnamese Navy ship Dinh Tien Hoang, a Gepoard Class Frigate, also visited Visakhapatnam in February 2016, for participation in the ÂInternational Fleet Review – 2016Â.
The Indian Army and Air Force also maintain robust cooperation with the Vietnamese Army and Air Force.