Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff visited Vietnam from October 4 to 7, 2017. The visit aimed at consolidating e cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Vietnam and also to explore new avenues of defence cooperation.
Admiral Sunil Lanba held bilateral discussions with Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam; General Ngo Xuan Lich, Defence Minister of Vietnam, Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, Chief of General Staff and Vice Minister of National Defence, Vietnamese Armed Forces, and Rear Admiral Pham Hoai Nam, Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Navy. In-addition to holding important bilateral discussions, the Admiral also visited the National Defence Academy of Vietnam, where he interacted with student officers and faculty members and delivered a talk on the ‘Importance of Maritime Power’. He also visited Vietnam People’s Navy ‘Naval Region 4’, Vietnam Naval Academy and laid a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
India has historical linkages with Vietnam that dates back many centuries, though the countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1972. 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 05 November 2009. A ‘Joint Vision Statement for 2015-20’ 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 the Prime Minister to Vietnam.