New Delhi: – India assured Vietnam of complete cooperation for the modernisation of its defence forces. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held discussions with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch via videoconferencing. At this time, stress was given on strengthening defence ties between India and Vietnam.
This is the third such meeting held between the defence, commerce and foreign minister level in the last four months. The conference of the ASEAN Defence Ministers will be held, presided over by Vietnam, on the 10th of December, and Vietnam has invited India for the meeting. Discussions will be held between the two countries even at that time. As per analysts, this increasing cooperation between India and Vietnam is significant against the background of tension with China.
Vietnam is keen on purchasing BrahMos missiles, Aakash air defence system and Dhruv helicopters. Vietnam has also expressed interest in the purchase of the indigenously made multipurpose light combat aircraft, Tejas. Like India, Vietnam also has disputes with China, and China is claiming rights over the Vietnamese marine region. Against this background, Vietnam is trying to purchase the BrahMos and Aakash missiles from India. It is claimed that discussions regarding this issue were held in the recent meeting.
The joint defence projects between the two countries were also reviewed in the meeting. Cooperation for building warships and submarines also is going on between the two countries. As per reports, this too featured in the discussions. The hydrographic agreement also was signed between India and Vietnam. As per this agreement, both the countries will share hydrographic data regarding the marine regions with each other. This data is useful for maritime movements and submarine operations. This increases the significance of the agreement.
Meanwhile, three weeks ago, a virtual summit was held between India and the ASEAN countries. At this time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined that the Indo-pacific policies of India and the ASEAN countries are standard. Therefore, ASEAN becomes the foundation of the Indian Act East policy. Against this background, India is seemingly strengthening cooperation with all the ASEAN countries, including Vietnam.