India, Vietnam plan joint army training


Hanoi : India Wednesday announced a slew of measures to expand its defence ties with Vietnam, including joint training of armies and support to strengthen and upgrade the capabilities of the Vietnamese armed forces.

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“New Delhi will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and upgrade the capabilities of services in general and navy in particular,” Defence Ministry Spokesman Sitanshu Kar said, after Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who is in Hanoi, met Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phung Quang Thanh.

Antony assured the Vietnamese leadership that India “will help Vietnam in its capacity building for repair and maintenance of its platforms”.

“The armies of the two countries will also cooperate in areas like IT and English training of Vietnamese army personnel,” Kar said.

He said the two armies would also undergo joint training in mountain and jungle warfare in India next year.

“The two sides will work towards developing cooperation among defence institutes and establishing linkages for sharing experience and knowledge,” Kar said.

“Antony also offered assistance to Vietnamese forces in UN peacekeeping operations,” Kar said.

The two sides also discussed global and regional security issues, he said.

“Antony said Vietnam occupies a strategic position in New Delhi’s policy priorities, both bilaterally as well as under its ‘look east policy’,” said the spokesperson.

Kar said that General Thanh thanked India for its valuable contribution to make the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defence ministers’ meeting a great success. The meeting was held here Tuesday.

Stating that India occupied a “special position” in Hanoi’s foreign policy framework, General Thanh said: “We are indeed moved by your support.”

He welcomed more port calls by the Indian Navy to Vietnam and offered maintenance and repair facilities at Vietnamese ports.

Antony also extended an invitation to his Vietnamese counterpart to visit India next year.