KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Malaysia and Vietnam have strengthened their bilateral ties in defence cooperation through a bilateral meeting and the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The Defence Ministry in a statement today said both countries have renewed the MoU on Defence Cooperation, which expired in 2018, a significant milestone in reinvigorating the defence ties between Malaysia and Vietnam.

The MoU was signed during Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan’s two-day working visit to Vietnam which began today at the invitation of his counterpart, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defence, General Phan Van Giang.

“The ministers also expressed their commitment to implementing the provisions of the MoU and ensuring its success in strengthening bilateral ties in defence,” read the statement.

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Both ministers also conducted a bilateral meeting on defence cooperation today which focused on enhancing military cooperation, fostering collaboration in the defence industry and formation of Strategic Defence Dialogue between the two ministries.

“During the discussions, both ministers engaged in productive talks, emphasising the importance of regional stability and the shared commitment to enhancing defence capabilities.

“The meeting addressed various aspects of military cooperation, including joint exercises, intelligence sharing and technology collaboration,” it added.

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During the meeting, Mohamad among others, also highlighted the significance of diplomatic engagements in addressing contemporary challenges and reaffirmed Malaysia's dedication to maintaining regional peace and security.

The ministry also said the bilateral discussions underscored the longstanding friendship and mutual respect between Malaysia and Vietnam, as both ministers expressed optimism about the positive outcomes of the discussions and the potential for further advancements in defence cooperation between both nations.

Meanwhile, Mohamad also made a courtesy call on Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinch and discussed matters of national importance concerning both countries, which focused on maritime security.

The statement said both parties acknowledged the shared interest in maintaining a secure and stable maritime environment and explored avenues for increased cooperation in this critical area.

“Minister of Defence expressed his pleasure at the fact that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries,” it said while adding Vietnam is the only Asean Member State that Malaysia has elevated its bilateral cooperation to a Strategic Partnership. — Bernama