Malaysia, Vietnam elevate defence ties to more strategic level

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said establishing the a high level committee between Malaysian and Vietnam would enable a more focused and structured framework between the two defence institutions. — Reuters pic
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said establishing the a high level committee between Malaysian and Vietnam would enable a more focused and structured framework between the two defence institutions. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Malaysia and Vietnam have agreed to elevate their defence relations to a more strategic level by establishing a high level committee (HLC).

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the move would enable a more focused and structured framework between their two defence institutions.

“I’m proud to announce that the inaugural HLC meeting to be chaired by the defence ministers of Malaysia and Vietnam will convene in 2017.

“This HLC will allow both nations to discover more innovative methods to boost defence cooperation, in areas of military cooperation, defence industry, technological cooperation and strategic affairs,” he said in a statement today.

Hishammuddin and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich met here today in conjunction with the latter’s official visit to the country.

Hishammuddin further said that both sides agreed to pursue stronger ties in the defence industry, potentially in the development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities as well as logistical support for helicopters and fighter aircraft.

“Companies from both countries could collaborate for the supplies of equipment and materials and provide services for assets in both Malaysia and Vietnam,” he said.

They also discussed issues such as the growing threat of terrorism in the region, specifically related to Islamic State and the returning fighters from territories lost in Iraq and Syria.

“We also touched on efforts to safeguard safety and security of our maritime zones, particularly in the South China Sea,” Hishammuddin said. — Bernama